From ROI Wiki

The Aquarius is a class of USF starships built by the united governments of Earth as part of a training program instituted by the Brayburn Society in the wake of the events seen in Homeworld and Empire Rising. The ships of this class are entirely Earth designed and built using older, obsolete technology long since abandoned by the Society, and yet considered revolutionary by the people of Earth. The ships themselves are not FTL capable, as such technology is not currently needed, since they will not be leaving the confines of Sol Space for some time to come, if ever, but they do sport very powerful sublight drives that can accelerate the ships upwards of 3/4 light speed. The Aquarius class sports a very classic, golden age look, almost in the same way the Destiny did, but are entirely of Earth design, even though they share many similarities.

Each of the ships is equipped with basic energy shielding (for protection against navigational hazards and other things that might threaten the safety of the ship), temporal shift abatement (to neutralize the temporal effects of sublight travel), inertial dampeners, tractor beams and several other technologies important to deep space navigation. The ships, however, despite all the technology they've been given, do not enjoy some of the many benefits of Society and Earthfleet vessels, such as fluidic armor, particle transporters (Portal Transporters are deemed too advanced, so older, simpler particle transporters are used instead) weapons or even some of the advanced structural and armor technologies employed in earlier Society ships. Instead, their hulls are made from stainless steel, which is both strong, and doesn't suffer the same issues as other metals or allows when exposed to very low temperatures, thus making it ideal for the job. When first built, the ships were decried for their lack of an FTL drive. However, given that travel by these ships would be primarily limited to just the space inside the Sol Perimeter, such technology was not needed as a typical Aquarius class starship can cross the entire 40 AU breadth of our solar system in just under eight hours.

So, while FTL flight within Sol is helpful for speeding transit from one place to another, it's not required. These ships, along with their sister vessels, are staffed by both military and civilian personnel from Earth, but also personnel from the Society and Earthfleet as well who act as advisors and mentors to their crews, training them on how to operate safely in space, stellar cartography, stellar navigation, how to respect the rules of the stars, and much more, as deep space can be a cruel master if not properly respected, even without thousands of other races to complicate things, and many other topics. The Aquarius class sports a modest crew of just one hundred and twenty three, including officers, enlisted, civilians, Society and Earthfleet personnel. The ship itself can operate with a crew of as few as twenty six, but regularly travels with up to three hundred aboard due to its nature as a training ship.

And, even though it is a training ship, the Aquarius does possess a number of very nice, and welcome, creature comforts to help the crews on long cruises, such as a movie theater, gym, holo rooms, a lounge and other means of relaxation and entertainment. The bridge itself also is very roomy, with the capacity to support up to thirty five people comfortably, although it can be safely run with a skeleton crew of just six, including the officer on watch. The motto of the Aquarius class of starships is "Don't break anything." No, seriously. That's actually their motto. It was originally coined by the ground crews who built the ships as sort of an inside "tongue in cheek" joke, but was later adopted by their crews who ultimately continued to perpetuate the joke as a way to add a little extra character to the ships that they trained on. It was also a gentle nod towards the incredible care they were always instructed to take when handling these ships.