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For the mirror universe counterpart, please see ISS Enterprise (NCC-1701).
For the Gideon replica, please see USS Enterprise (replica).
For the United Earth Fleet ship, please see UEF Enterprise.
"Our mission? We explore. We seek out new life and new civilizations. We boldly go where no one has gone before."
"All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) was a 23rd century Federation Constitution-class starship operated by Starfleet, and the first Federation starship to bear the name Enterprise. During its career, the Enterprise served as the Federation flagship and was in service from 2245 to 2285. During the latter years of its life, the Enterprise was refitted into a Constitution II-class starship and served as a training vessel until its destruction in 2285.


See Enterprise history

Service history[]

Construction and launch[]

USS Enterprise details and specs

Specifications of the USS Enterprise

In the early- to mid-23rd century, at least twelve heavy cruiser-type starships, the Constitution-class, were commissioned by the Federation Starfleet. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday") Constructed at the San Francisco Fleet Yards in San Francisco, California, the Federation vessel registered NCC-1701 was christened "the Enterprise" in a long line of ships of the same name. (DIS: "Brother"; TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident")

Captain Robert April oversaw construction of the ship's components as well as its initial trial runs. His wife, Sarah April, designed several tools for the ship's sickbay. (TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident") Larry Marvick was one of the designers of the Enterprise itself, while Doctor Richard Daystrom designed its computer systems. (TOS: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?", "The Ultimate Computer")

According to The Making of Star Trek, the Enterprise was built on Earth but assembled in space.

During its construction, a piece of the Enterprise NX-01 was used as it was the previous ship to bear the name. (SNW: "Those Old Scientists")

As part of Enterprise naval legacy, USS Enterprise (CV-6)'s portholes were installed during the construction of USS Enterprise (CVN-65). These portholes were located in the captain's stateroom. [1]

Robert April's command[]

Robert April, 2259

Robert April commanded the Enterprise from 2245 to 2250

The Enterprise was launched on April 11, 2245, under the command of Captain April. (DIS: "Brother") Sarah April served as the ship's first chief medical officer, with Christopher Pike serving as Captain April's first officer. (TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident"; DIS: "Brother"; SNW: "Strange New Worlds")

Prior to the Enterprise's launch date of 2245 being officially confirmed in the Discovery episode "Brother", multiple production sources, including an unseen display screen intended for use in ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", and the Star Trek Encyclopedia, 4th ed., vol. 1, p. 244, gave the same launch date.

According to a computer display that was created by production staff of Star Trek: Enterprise but never used on screen, Jonathan Archer was present at the Enterprise's launch and died the next day.

In TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident", it is stated that Sarah April's service on the Enterprise was the first time a medical officer served on a starship equipped with warp drive. However, it is established in Star Trek: Enterprise that warp-capable starships had medical personnel prior to the time of her service.

According to Star Trek: Federation - The First 150 Years, the Enterprise was launched on April 11, 2245.

In the Star Trek: Discovery novel Drastic Measures, the Enterprise aided the Tarsus IV colony in the aftermath of Kodos the Executioner's infamous massacre in 2246.

In 2246, April chose to break General Order 1 and warn a pre-warp civilization, the Perricans, about a possible apocalyptic meteor shower that was due to hit their planet. (SNW: "Ad Astra per Aspera")

In 2248, April sent his science officer to the industrial-age planet Na'rel to solve the imminent threat of an extinction-level drought by sharing Federation technology. (SNW: "Ad Astra per Aspera")

Una Chin-Riley was assigned to the Enterprise as Captain April's science officer. (SNW: "Ad Astra per Aspera"; display graphic) One deep space cruise took it within half a light year of 99 Pegasi. (ST: "Q&A")

He also visited Man-us II without his security officer, during which he chose to reveal the Enterprise to the Ohawk, a pre-warp civilization. (SNW: "Ad Astra per Aspera")

Christopher Pike's command[]

In 2250, April left the Enterprise and command was turned over to Pike. Pike also chose Chin-Riley to be his first officer. (DIS: "Brother"; SNW: "Ad Astra per Aspera" display graphic)

Early voyages[]

Pragine 63

The Enterprise orbiting Pragine 63

At one point, the Enterprise visited Pragine 63, where science officer Lynne Lucero was transferred to the USS Cabot, to serve as its new captain. (ST: "The Trouble with Edward")

A new science officer[]

In 2253, Pike and the Enterprise traveled to Starbase 40 where Pike would obtain a half Human-Vulcan science officer, Spock, who served under him for over eleven years. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I"; ST: "Q&A"; SNW: "Among the Lotus Eaters" display graphic)

Rigel VII[]

Rigel VII graphic

The Enterprise visited Rigel VII in 2254

In 2254 On stardate 2496.4, the Enterprise visit Rigel VII as a routine exploration of a remote class M planet. Captain Pike, along with a landing party consisting of Spock, Yeoman Zac Nguyen, Ensign C. Plummer and M. Aberth and several others went down to the planet where they were attacked by the Kalar. Yeoman Ngyugen, Ensign Plummer and Aberth were killed, while Spock and six others were injured. The mission lasted all of four hours. The remaining members of the landing party returned to the Enterprise and set course to Vega colony to get medical aid for those injured. Unbeknownst to the crew, Ngyugen had actually survived and been left stranded on the planet. (TOS: "The Cage"; SNW: "Among the Lotus Eaters")

Talos IV[]

Talos IV, 2257

The Enterprise was the first starship to visit the Talos star systems in nearly 20 years.

While traveling to the Vega Colony, the Enterprise learned there were survivors of the SS Columbia that were marooned on Talos IV nearly eighteen years earlier. Following the stop at Vega, the Enterprise traveled to Talos to rescue the Columbia survivors only to find out it was a trap devised by the Talosians. (TOS: "The Cage")

According to the novel Desperate Hours, the Enterprise fell under Fleet Admiral Brett Anderson's jurisdiction, along with the USS Shenzhou.

Federation-Klingon War[]

In late 2256, Michael Burnham encouraged Cadet Sylvia Tilly to improve her physical conditioning so that she would stand out amongst her peers and be assigned to the Enterprise or one of its "sister ships." (DIS: "Lethe")

At that time, the Enterprise was on a five-year mission under Pike. With the Federation-Klingon War underway, Starfleet elected not to recall the starship and leave the vessel as an instrument of last resort, so ordered Pike and his crew to remain out of the fighting. (DIS: "Brother")

Pike later accused Starfleet Command of not recalling Enterprise because they knew he would steadfastly remind them of Federation values, but Admiral Katrina Cornwell, the only Starfleet Command representative present to hear the accusation, countered that they "wanted the best of Starfleet to survive," if the war was lost, and they had deemed that to be Enterprise. (DIS: "Project Daedalus")

The red bursts[]

USS Discovery rendezvousing with USS Enterprise

The Enterprise and Discovery rendezvous in 2257

Following the conclusion of the war in 2257, the Enterprise was dispatched by Starfleet to investigate one of a series of unidentified signals detected throughout the galaxy. (DIS: "Brother") En route, the ship suffered multiple catastrophic systems failures, leading Pike to issue a priority 1 distress call.

The call was received by the USS Discovery, en route to Vulcan. (DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?", "Brother") Pike and two senior officers transferred to Discovery to continue their mission, while a team was dispatched to tow the Enterprise back to Spacedock for a diagnostic, where the damage was assessed as severe, with no estimate for repair. (DIS: "Brother")

Federation tug 23rd century

The Enterprise being towed to drydock for repairs

A week later, Pike's first officer, Una Chin-Riley, reported to Pike that the holographic comm system was the source of the failures, which had compromised primary systems. Pike ordered Una to tell Chief Engineer Louvier to strip the system from the ship in favor of viewscreen communication. (DIS: "An Obol for Charon")

Battling Control[]

Discovery deploys evacuation corridors

The Enterprise taking on Discovery's crew

After the Discovery acquired data from a Sphere that would ultimately lead to the evolution of Section 31 artificial intelligence Control which would threaten all sentient life in the Milky Way Galaxy, Pike was left with no other option but to set the Discovery's auto-destruct system and call the Enterprise for immediate evacuation of the ship's crew. (DIS: "Through the Valley of Shadows")

On stardate 1051.8, the Enterprise finally rendezvoused with the Discovery and began taking on the ship's crew. When all personnel were fully evacuated, Captain Pike ordered Discovery's destruction. However, the Sphere intelligence utilized Discovery's defensive systems to block the Enterprise's torpedo volley. Unable to eliminate Discovery, the crew determined that sending the Discovery into the future was the only method to secure the Sphere data from Control.

USS Enterprise and Discovery battle Section 31

The Enterprise and Discovery engage Section 31 vessels

With the appearance of a fifth red burst, both ships traveled to the planet Xahea, which was ultimately the position Cornwell and Pike decided to fight Leland/Control's armada. (DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow")

After the decision was made to destroy Discovery to prevent its capture by Control, the ship deployed evacuation corridors to transfer its crew to Enterprise. (DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow")

USS Enterprise in Spacedock

The Enterprise undergoes repairs in 2258

During a decisive battle with Control, the Enterprise lost a significant portion of her saucer section when an undetonated photon torpedo penetrated it and later detonated. Admiral Katrina Cornwell was killed while sacrificing herself to stop the torpedo from destroying the entire ship. As the Discovery traveled into the future, the Enterprise and a fleet of Klingon and Kelpien reinforcements provided covering fire against the attacking Section 31 drone ships and then finished them off when Georgiou neutralizing Control left the enemy ships dead in the water. Following the battle, the Enterprise underwent extensive repairs in orbit of Earth while the crew lied to Starfleet that the Discovery had been destroyed. (DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2")

Continuing mission[]

Following the repairs to the Enterprise, the ship resumed its mission of exploration, once again under the command of Christopher Pike. Their first stop was a shakedown run to a new moon that was discovered at Edrin II. (DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2")

USS Enterprise at Kiley 279

The Enterprise at Kiley 279

Following the mission to Edrin II, the Enterprise returned to Earth where its crew was enjoying some much-needed downtime. In 2259, the Enterprise was undergoing scheduled maintenance and system upgrades when April, now a fleet admiral, pulled Pike out of exile and the Enterprise out of drydock when Una Chin-Riley and the USS Archer went missing during a first contact mission to Kiley 279. General Order 1 was violated in this mission, leading to Starfleet command to rename it the "Prime Directive". (SNW: "Strange New Worlds")

On stardate 2259.42, the Enterprise left Starbase 1 to continue its third five-year mission of exploration. (SNW: "Strange New Worlds")

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), 2259

The Enterprise in the Persephone system

The Enterprise's first stop on her mission was observing a planet in the Persephone system, at which she tried to divert a comet away but ended up getting into a fight with a species known as the "Shepherds". (SNW: "Children of the Comet")

The Enterprise visited an abandoned Illyrian colony at Hetemit IX to find out what had happened to the colonists; however, an Illyrian light-based virus broke out aboard the ship, forcing the crew to shut the Enterprise down. After becoming infected, chief engineer Hemmer nearly destroyed the ship after disengaging the ship's warp core containment field. (SNW: "Ghosts of Illyria")

USS Enterprise and Gorn vessel, 2259

The Enterprise engaged the Gorn at Finibus III.

The Enterprise later encountered a small Gorn fleet at Finibus III, and narrowly escaped after taking major damage to her hull, torpedo bay, and structural integrity field. (SNW: "Memento Mori")

The ship visited Starbase 1 after the fight with the Gorn and underwent repairs. While the crew enjoyed some shore leave, Captain Pike engaged in negotiations with the R'ongovian Protectorate. (SNW: "Spock Amok")

The Enterprise encountered a shuttlecraft under attack by presumed pirates and assisted, delivering the inhabitants back to their planet, and later investigated what the pirates were doing when looking into the wreckage. (SNW: "Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach")

The Enterprise was hijacked by a group of rogue pirates after her crew was betrayed by a passenger. After tricking the pirates and taking control of one of their ships, the crew were able to reclaim the Enterprise after disabling her warp and impulse engines. (SNW: "The Serene Squall")

Outpost 4 2259

The Enterprise visited Earth Outpost Station 4 and helped the Outposts with retrofitting and supplies.

The Enterprise, along with the USS Cayuga, visited the Neutral Zone and helped with retrofitting the Earth Outpost Stations and delivering supplies. However, after witnessing an alternate timeline version of the Neutral Zone Incursion, Captain Pike became aware of James T. Kirk, recognizing that he had the potential to be a good captain for the Enterprise. Commander Chin-Riley was arrested shortly thereafter after being discovered to be an Illyrian. (SNW: "A Quality of Mercy")

While Captain Pike was off of the ship securing a lawyer for Chin-Riley and it was undergoing routine maintenance and inspection by Commander Pelia's inspection team at Starbase 1, the Enterprise received a distress call from Lieutenant La'an Noonien-Singh on Cajitar IV, a planet on the edge of Klingon space, about an "anti-Federation threat." However, Admiral April refused to allow the ship to investigate, fearing that it could reignite the Klingon War due to the Klingons currently being in control of the planet following a painstakingly-negotiated treaty. (SNW: "The Broken Circle")

Under Lieutenant Spock's leadership, the crew faked a potential warp core breach in order to evacuate the inspection team, steal the Enterprise and go to Noonien-Singh's aid. Although Pelia deduced their deception, she aided the crew in stealing the ship rather than stopping them and she acted as Chief Engineer. (SNW: "The Broken Circle")

The crew uncovered a false flag operation by the Broken Circle to reignite the Klingon war using the rebuilt NCC-1279. The Enterprise destroyed the rogue ship and foiled the Broken Circle's plot. Afterwards, Pelia expressed an interest in sticking around as a part of the crew and April let Spock off easy, concerned about a potential upcoming war with the Gorn that Starfleet would need every good officer they had for. (SNW: "The Broken Circle")

The Enterprise returned to Earth for Commander Chin-Riley's court martial. After Chin-Riley was acquitted, she was allowed to return to duty aboard the ship as first officer. (SNW: "Ad Astra per Aspera")

The Enterprise and the Cayuga were assigned to a joint mission charting a new binary star system when the Enterprise was reassigned to investigate and correct cultural contamination on Rigel VII after depiction of a Starfleet delta was discovered in a garden. Five years after the Enterprise's disastrous mission to the planet, the ship returned to discover that "High Lord Zacarias" was actually Yeoman Zac Nguyen who was believed to have been killed in the mission five years before but had actually been left behind instead. Due to exotic radiation from the debris field around the planet, the crew lost their memories, but eventually managed to pilot the Enterprise out of it to a safe distance. Spock was subsequently able to develop a shield harmonic that protected the crew against the radiation and Pike had the ship lift an asteroid from the planet that was emitting the same radiation and keeping the Kalar from forming explicit memories and was thus stunting the growth of life on Rigel VII. Pike arrested Nguyen who was then transferred to the Cayuga to face punishment for his actions from Starfleet. (SNW: "Among the Lotus Eaters")

The Enterprise joined the USS Farragut in repairing a deuterium refinery that would serve as a "gas station" for Federation starships for further exploration of that region. Ensign Uhura and Lieutenant Saul Ramon of the Farragut began to experience hallucinations, and the intense brain damage this caused to Ramon caused him to sabotage the Enterprise and die in an explosion. Uhura eventually realized that the deuterium contained a living species that was trying to communicate with them. Uhura then convinced Captain Pike to destroy the refinery to save them. (SNW: "Lost in Translation")

Boimler and Mariner aboard the Enterprise

Ensigns Brad Boimler and Beckett Mariner in the Enterprise's engine room

On stardate 2291.6, the Enterprise crew encountered Ensigns Brad Boimler and Beckett Mariner from the late 24th century while they were investigating a time portal on Krulmuth-B. To return the officers to their own time, the crew discovered a hidden component from the Enterprise NX-01 built into the ship that contained horonium, the very material needed to power the time portal. (SNW: "Those Old Scientists")

Ambassador Dak'Rah, son of Ra'Ul, was picked up by the Enterprise from the USS Kelcie Mae on stardate 1875.4 to transport the ambassador to Starbase 12. However, his divisive presence on the vessel resulted in his death. (SNW: "Under the Cloak of War")

Enterprise crew unite in song

The bridge crew dancing and singing

On stardate 2398.3, while the Enterprise was traveling in the far edges of the Alpha Quadrant, they encountered a naturally-occurring subspace fold. While conducting experiments, Ensign Uhura sent a message containing music through the fold. This caused the fold to release a quantum uncertainty field that created a musical reality aboard the ship. Crewmembers started to express themselves through uncontrollable singing, which was deemed a security threat by Lieutenant Noonien-Singh. The entire crew, singing in unison, were able to shatter the uncertainty field before an approaching Klingon force could fire upon it, with disastrous consequences. (SNW: "Subspace Rhapsody")

James T. Kirk's command[]

USS Enterprise orbiting Omicron Ceti III, remastered

The Enterprise in orbit, 2267

In 2265, after nearly twenty years of service aboard the Enterprise, Captain Pike would be promoted to fleet captain and command of the Enterprise would be transferred to James Kirk. The Enterprise would also be assigned to another five-year mission of deep space exploration. The ship's primary goal during this mission was to seek out and contact alien life. Captain Kirk's standing orders also included the investigation of all quasars and quasar-like phenomena.

Beyond its primary mission, the Enterprise defended Federation territories from aggression, aided member worlds in crisis, and provided scientific expeditions and colonies in its patrol area with annual examinations and support. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", "The Man Trap", "The Cloud Minders", "Journey to Babel"); (TOS: "The Galileo Seven", "The Deadly Years")

Despite 2270 being given as the year Kirk's first five-year mission in command of the Enterprise came to an end (in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Q2"), many production resources – including the booklet for the TOS Season 1 DVD set – continue to use the Star Trek Chronology, 1st ed., p. 38's date of 2264 as the starting point of the mission. It is possible, however, that the mission ran from 2264 through 2269 and that the Enterprise did not return to Earth until 2270.

According to a line from the script of Star Trek but removed from the final draft, the crew of the Enterprise came together in a time of "ultimate crisis", much like their alternate reality counterparts did. [2]

According to a line of dialogue from the final draft script of "Mudd's Women", the Enterprise was located two years, five months, twenty-two days, and seven hours from a starbase at impulse speed in that episode.


From 2265 to 2270, the Enterprise visited over seventy different worlds and encountered representatives of over sixty different species. More than twenty of those were first contacts with beings previously unknown to the Federation, including stellar neighbors like the First Federation and Gorn, voyagers from the Kelvan Empire in distant Andromeda, and powerful non-corporeal entities like the Thasians, Trelane, and the Organians. (TOS: , "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Arena", "By Any Other Name") Two discovered species were the first known examples of silicon-based lifeforms: the Horta and the Excalbians. (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark", "The Savage Curtain", "That Which Survives")

USS Enterprise leaving galactic barrier, remastered

In the barrier void in 2265

The Enterprise was the first Federation vessel to survive an encounter with the galactic barrier. The ship's warp drive and other systems, however, were critically damaged (which later prompted the ship to be refit and repaired, changing its appearance slightly for the rest of Kirk's mission) and casualties totaled twelve crewmembers and officers. By stardate 4657.5, the Enterprise was traveling through space in a region hundreds of light years further than any Earth starship had explored. (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "Return to Tomorrow")

The reality of time travel, externally influenced, had been known for over a century, but following two accidental temporal displacements, the Enterprise became the Federation's first deliberately-controlled timeship. Observing the death-throes of Psi 2000, the crew suffered from polywater intoxication and the Enterprise nearly lost orbit after an engine shutdown. A previously untested "cold start", via controlled matter-antimatter implosion, saved the ship, but the high-speed escape from the planet's gravity well caused the ship to travel three days into the past. (TOS: "The Naked Time")

USS Enterprise in orbit of Earth

Orbiting 1960s Earth

In 2267, while escaping the gravitational pull of a black star, the Enterprise was hurled through space and time to Earth of 1969. The crew developed and executed a method to return to their own time, by warping around the sun's gravity well in a slingshot maneuver. A year later, the Enterprise was ordered to repeat the recently proven slingshot effect, and returned to Earth's past on a mission of historical observation. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Assignment: Earth")

Originally, "The Naked Time" and "Tomorrow is Yesterday" were planned to be back-to-back stories, with the events in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" happening as a result of the "cold start" of the warp drive in "The Naked Time". A change in production plans resulted in the two stories being de-linked and slightly reworked to stand alone.

USS Enterprise approaches space amoeba, remastered

The space amoeba in 2268

Some missions of discovery confronted Enterprise with entities and mechanisms that threatened great swaths of Federation and neighboring space.

An ancient "planet killer", fueled by the consumption of planets it destroyed with its antiproton weapon, approached Federation population centers in 2267. It required the combined efforts of the Enterprise and its "sister ship", USS Constellation, to destroy the invader. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")

One year later, in 2268, a single-cell organism of colossal scale emitted negative energy, toxic to humanoid life, killing the entire Vulcan crew of the USS Intrepid. The Enterprise penetrated the cell interior and destroyed the organism before its imminent cell division threatened to overwhelm the rest of the galaxy. (TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome")

In around 2268, the Enterprise visited Planet 0042692 where they detected an approaching catastrophe, but couldn't intervene directly due to the Prime Directive. Ensign David Garrovick volunteered to embark upon a solo mission in the shuttle Galileo, but the Galileo ended up crashing. The Enterprise departed the planet without Garrovick after which no other Starfleet ship would visit that sector for over a hundred years and there was no record of first contact. Having survived the crash, Garrovick predicted that Starfleet would return one day and sent out a distress call. Learning about Starfleet from Garrovick, the planet's natives began calling themselves Enderprizians, named their settlement New Enda-Prize, and adopted versions of the Enterprise crew's names. (PRO: "All the World's a Stage")


USS Enterprise firing phaser proximity blast

The Enterprise fires a phaser proximity blast.

The nature of its mission of exploration meant the Enterprise was frequently the only Federation military asset in a little-known, otherwise undefended frontier. When called into harm's way, the ship regularly did so with little chance of immediate support against previously unknown enemies and threats.

Happily, the Enterprise's earliest engagement of its five-year mission, against a deceptively powerful starship called the Fesarius, ended with an amicable first contact with the First Federation in 2266. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver") Following the destruction of a colony on Cestus III, a surprise attack – from a previously unknown species – led the Enterprise to battle and pursue an evenly matched Gorn starship in 2267. (TOS: "Arena")

The Enterprise played the fox for four of its "sister ships" in a war games problem on stardate 4729.4, as part of a series of M-5 drills. Equipped with the new M-5 multitronic unit computer and stripped of most of its crew, the Enterprise became a killing machine – crippling the USS Excalibur and killing its entire crew – before Kirk could re-assert control. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

Klingon engagements[]
USS Enterprise-D7 face off

The Battle of Organia in 2267

Warships of the Imperial Klingon Fleet were frequent opponents of the Enterprise. Commander Kor held the Enterprise and Kirk in high professional regard, and relished the prospect of battle. Lower ranks chose to mock the starship; on one such occasion, Korax compared the vessel to a "garbage scow" before he corrected himself, adding, "It should be hauled away as garbage." (TOS: "Errand of Mercy", "The Trouble with Tribbles")

While Starfleet rallied its forces at the outbreak of a Federation-Klingon War in 2267, the Enterprise was sent forward to secure a border region anchored by the planet Organia. The vessel destroyed a Klingon ship and prepared to engage an approaching Klingon fleet, before the Organian Peace Treaty precluded a full-scale war. (TOS: "Errand of Mercy")

The Enterprise sporadically engaged Klingons throughout its voyage. A warship failed in an attempt to blockade the Enterprise from Capella IV in 2267. Sabotaged during a diplomatic mission to the Tellun system in 2268, the ship successfully fought off the assault of a harassing D7. The same year, the Enterprise was forced to destroy a battle cruiser that Kang had commanded but had recently abandoned, and the rescued Klingons (influenced by the Beta XII-A entity) subsequently made an unsuccessful attempt to wrest control of the Enterprise from Kirk. (TOS: "Friday's Child", "Elaan of Troyius", "Day of the Dove")

Romulan engagements[]
Romulan bird-of-prey, CG TOS-aft

Ventral view of a Romulan Bird-of-Prey during the Neutral Zone Incursion of 2266

The Romulan Star Empire re-emerged from a century of isolation to antagonize the Federation with the Neutral Zone Incursion of 2266. The Enterprise responded and was victorious against a new Romulan Bird-of-Prey, which was equipped with a cloaking device and a plasma torpedo system. (TOS: "Balance of Terror")

In later encounters, the Romulan fleet used strength of numbers in their efforts to overwhelm the Enterprise. When Commodore Stocker took temporary command and violated the Neutral Zone in 2267, up to ten Birds-of-Prey swarmed and pummeled the starship until Kirk's "corbomite" bluff inspired their withdrawal. (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

In 2268, the Enterprise again violated the Neutral Zone – for the purpose of espionage – and was quickly surrounded by three Romulan D7-class battle cruisers. The Enterprise escaped by becoming the first Federation vessel to install and successfully utilize a (stolen) Romulan cloaking device. (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident")

Near Tau Ceti in the following year, Kirk employed the Cochrane deceleration maneuver, allowing the Enterprise to defeat a Romulan vessel. (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

In the final year of Kirk's original mission, the ship was ambushed by a trio of Romulan battle cruisers while on a routine survey. The Enterprise managed to escape through an energy field that adversely affected the ship's main computer. The malfunctioning systems were corrected by another pass through the field, this time with the Romulan ships in pursuit. The attackers then became incapacitated by the same computer malfunctions, and the Enterprise managed to escape. (TAS: "The Practical Joker")

Refit of the 2270s[]

The Enterprise underwent another major refit into what would later be known as the Constitution II-class. The refitting took eighteen months of work, and essentially a new vessel was built onto the bones of the old, replacing virtually every major system. This ensured Enterprise's continued service for the next several years, enabling the ship to continue to serve in its prominent role.

USS Enterprise in spacedock

The Enterprise in drydock, 2270s

Refits and overhauls with new technologies after long deployments were far from unusual in the ship's history. However, the Enterprise's overhaul of the early 2270s became a nearly keel-up redesign and reconstruction project.

The very heart of the ship was replaced with a radically different vertical warp core assembly, linked to new and heavier warp engine nacelles, atop swept-back pylons and integrated with the impulse engines. The new drive system allowed for an expanded cargo hold in the secondary hull, linked to the shuttlebay. The deflector dish at the front of the main housing was replaced with an entirely new design, one where it was recessed into the housing.

Weapons system upgrades included the phaser banks having power channeled directly from the warp engines. A double photon torpedo/probe launcher was installed atop the secondary hull.

Extra egress points were added for better access/exit from the ship and now included a port-side spacedock hatch, dual ventral space walk bays, four dorsal service hatches, and a standardized docking ring port, which was aft of the bridge on the primary hull. Also included were four more docking ring ports, paired on the port and starboard sides of the launcher and secondary hulls respectively, and service hatch airlocks on the port and starboard sides of the hangar bay's main clam-shell doors. Unlike from before the refit, these new egress points were not covered by retractable hull plating.

A new bridge module reflected the modern computer systems, operating interfaces, and ergonomics that ran throughout the ship.

Following Kirk's promotion to rear admiral and posting as Chief of Starfleet Operations, his successor, Captain Will Decker (whom Kirk himself picked to succeed him), oversaw the refit, assisted by chief engineer Commander Montgomery Scott. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Following its refit, the Enterprise, in the early 2270s, went on to be critical in defending the Federation from several external threats, including V'ger and Khan Noonien Singh. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)


After eighteen months in drydock for refit, the Enterprise was pressed into service, weeks ahead of schedule, in response to the V'ger crisis, once again under Kirk's command.

USS Enterprise approaches V'ger's cloud, remastered

Making contact with V'ger

Decker was temporarily demoted to commander and posted as an executive officer because of his familiarity with the new design. Incomplete systems had to be serviced during the vessel's shakedown en route to V'ger, including the first test of the new warp engines.

Shortly after launch, a matter/antimatter intermix malfunction ruptured the warp field and led to the Enterprise entering into an unstable wormhole. Commander Decker belayed an order from Admiral Kirk to destroy an asteroid in their path, which had been dragged into the ruptured warp field along with them, with phasers. The refitted phasers now channeled power directly from the main engines at a point beyond the dilithium/magnatomic-initiator stage.

Because of this refitted function, both the intermix malfunction and the resultant antimatter imbalance within the warp nacelles caused automatic cutoff of the phasers, a design change of which Kirk had not been aware. Decker ordered the use of photon torpedoes, instead; as a backup, they had been designed to draw power from a separate system in case of a major phaser loss. Commander Spock arrived at a timely point and brought correction to the intermix problem. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Once the V'ger threat was averted, Captain Decker was listed as "missing in action", and the Enterprise remained under Admiral Kirk's command for an interim period. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) At some point, Kirk passed command on to the newly promoted Captain Spock. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Khan's return[]

In 2285, the Enterprise had been pulled from the front lines of Starfleet and the Federation and, near the end of its life, was relegated to a training vessel. The ship participated in a low-tempo training cycle, based in the Sol system. Admiral Kirk boarded his old command to observe a cadet training cruise.

USS Enterprise faces off with the USS Reliant in the Battle of the Mutara Nebula

The Enterprise, engaged with the hijacked Reliant

Meanwhile, Khan Noonien Singh had escaped from exile on Ceti Alpha V and hijacked the USS Reliant, after which he stole the Genesis Device from the Regula I space station.

The Enterprise was tasked to investigate, and Spock deferred his command to Admiral Kirk. Subsequent engagements with Reliant left the ship badly damaged, with cadet and crew deaths, including Captain Spock. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Final mission[]

USS Enterprise exiting the Earth Spacedock

The Enterprise, heavily damaged, leaving the Spacedock orbiting Earth

Upon the Enterprise returning to Earth, Starfleet Commander Fleet Admiral Morrow announced that the starship, at that point forty years old and heavily damaged, would be decommissioned. When Morrow denied Kirk requesting permission to return to the Mutara sector, Kirk conspired with his senior officers and stole the Enterprise from Spacedock One, in order to recover Spock's body from the Genesis Planet – to bring it and Spock's katra, the latter possessed by Leonard McCoy, to Mount Seleya on Vulcan. As part of the plan, Kirk had Scott rig up an automation system to run the Enterprise so easily that "a chimpanzee and two trainees" could have handled the craft.

USS Enterprise self destructs

"My God, Bones… what have I done?" – Admiral James T. Kirk

At the Enterprise's destination, the ship was attacked by a Klingon Bird-of-Prey operated by Klingon Commander Kruge, an assault that left the Enterprise disabled; Scotty's automation system was not designed for combat and overloaded when the ship was attacked. After setting the auto-destruct sequence, Kirk and his crew abandoned the ship for the surface of the Genesis Planet. Demolition charges in place on the bridge, and elsewhere throughout the ship, exploded, killing a Klingon boarding party. The battered secondary hull (with what was left of the saucer) fell from orbit and blazingly streaked across the planet's atmosphere. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

USS Enterprise streaking in Genesis sky

The Enterprise burning in Genesis' atmosphere

Being forty years old at the time of its destruction, the Enterprise had surpassed its designer's original projected eighteen-year endurance by twenty-two years, when the ship was launched back in 2245. (DIS: "Brother" graphic display) The next USS Enterprise, a Constitution II-class heavy cruiser USS Enterprise-A, was launched a year later. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Film writer Harve Bennett justified the destruction of the Enterprise via an analogy to the USS Niagara. According to Bennett, "Oliver Hazard Perry of the U.S. Navy scuttled the Niagra [sic] at the battle of Lake Erie and won the battle as a result and took command." He added, "Perry happens to be one of James T. Kirk's great heroes. So, the scuttling of the ship to achieve the greater good is a tactic." (Great Birds of the Galaxy: Gene Roddenberry and the Creators of Trek) A supporter of the decision to blow up the Enterprise was Nicholas Meyer, who commended Bennett for the idea in a letter between them (dated 24 September 1982).

There is a difference in the appearance of the Enterprise between Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; in Star Trek III, the ship's external appearance appeared to have deteriorated around some areas damaged by Khan's attacks (and repaired in others), while other areas of the ship that had not been damaged by Khan's attack had battle damage, including the starboard secondary hull, both nacelles, and the top of the saucer. This extra damage was explained in non-canon Star Trek literature as having occurred in spars with Klingon warships between the second and third movies. The aggressive move to attack the Enterprise was explained by the secrecy of the Genesis Planet and the overall uneasiness it created. This could also explain the Klingon aggressiveness displayed throughout the third movie. [3]

In Scene 43 of The Search for Spock, Morrow justified the mothballing of the Enterprise by stating, "The Enterprise is twenty years old. We think her day is over." At that point in time, this constituted a continuity error, as it did not line up with either the then-generally-assumed launch year 2245 or the refit in the 2270s. However, with information much later provided in DIS: "Brother" (which included the launch year), it can in retrospect be argued that Morrow was referring to the time-span Enterprise had exceeded its life expectancy.


Constitution class hologram, 2399

A hologram of the USS Enterprise in 2258 was displayed in Starfleet Headquarters in 2399

The Enterprise's long history would be remembered for the next century. (TNG: "The Naked Now"; DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations"; VOY: "Flashback", "Q2"; PIC: "Penance", "Fly Me to the Moon") Captain John Harriman of the USS Enterprise-B would learn of Kirk's missions when he was in grade school. (Star Trek Generations)

In 2369, when Montgomery Scott was rescued from the crash landed USS Jenolen, and his surprise that he was found by the USS Enterprise-D, Scott's immediate response was "Enterprise? I should have known. I bet Jim Kirk himself hauled the old girl out of mothballs to come looking for me," even though he, along with Pavel Chekov and Kirk were on the USS Enterprise-B during its maiden voyage when Kirk was presumed killed. (TNG: "Relics"; Star Trek Generations)

In 2383, Hologram Janeway showed the young crew of the USS Protostar an image of the Enterprise while explaining the history of the Federation and Starfleet to them. (PRO: "Starstruck")

In 2384, the Protostar responded to Ensign David Garrovick's distress call that had been sent from Planet 0042692 over a hundred years before, discovering that Starfleet had no record of the Enterprise's mission to the planet, but learning of it from the natives, the Enderprizians. The Protostar crew made second contact and fulfilled Garrovick's promise that Starfleet would some day return to save the Enderprizians from the curse of "the Gallows," in reality toxic runoff caused by the crashed shuttle Galileo. (PRO: "All the World's a Stage")

In 2399, retired Starfleet Admiral Jean-Luc Picard observed holographic images of the original Enterprise from 2258 and the Enterprise-D in the central lobby of Starfleet Headquarters. (PIC: "Maps and Legends")

Kirk's use of the slingshot maneuver using the Enterprise in order to travel through time was mentioned as an example by Picard as one of the methods for travelling back through time in order to repair changes made in 2024 by Q. (PIC: "Penance")

Alternate timelines and realities[]

  • In an alternate timeline shown to Commander Michael Burnham by the time crystal, Enterprise failed to destroy the USS Discovery with photon torpedoes after Discovery's auto-destruct didn't go off. As in the current timeline, Enterprise was hit in the saucer section with an undetonated photon torpedo which presumably destroyed the ship as Control won in that timeline. Having been shown this vision moments before Enterprise's failure to destroy Discovery, Burnham stopped the crew from even attempting to do so. Later, Admiral Katrina Cornwell sacrificed herself to save Enterprise from destruction by the torpedo which she predicted would kill at least the bridge crew if it went off and maybe everyone else on the ship. Burnham and Spock came to the conclusion that the time crystal had showed her this possible future so that she could change it. (DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow", "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2")
USS Enterprise arriving at Outpost 4

The Enterprise at Earth Outpost Station 4 in an alternate timeline

  • In an alternate timeline in which Captain Christopher Pike managed to avoid his crippling fate, he was still in command of the Enterprise in 2266 during the Neutral Zone Incursion while James T. Kirk was the captain of the USS Farragut instead. In this timeline, the ship suffered heavy damage from the Romulan warbird and took on the Farragut's survivors before Pike negotiated a cease fire between the two sides. When the Romulans showed up with a full armada in response to the perceived weakness of the Federation, the Enterprise barely escaped, taking severe damage to several more decks. The incident resulted in an endless war between the Federation and the Romulans before the Pike of this future traveled back in time and showed his past self the consequences of avoiding his fate. (SNW: "A Quality of Mercy")
  • In an alternate timeline created by the death of Spock at the age of seven, Thelin served as the first officer and science officer of the Enterprise. Upon learning of the damaged timeline that Kirk and Spock decided to correct, Thelin was supportive. Upon hearing that, Spock wished Thelin a long and prosperous life in whatever circumstances the corrected timeline placed him in. (TAS: "Yesteryear")

List of first contacts[]

Over its forty-years of service, the Enterprise made first contact with numerous species.

Robert April's notable first contacts[]

Christopher Pike's notable first contacts[]

James T. Kirk's notable first contacts[]

In most cases, the date indicated is the first time open communication was initiated with at least one member of the species. Otherwise, it is the first known contact with the species.

Command crew[]

Robert April's command crew[]

Christopher Pike's command crew[]

USS Enterprise bridge, 2258

The crew of the Enterprise under the command of Christopher Pike in 2258

USS Enterprise bridge, 2259

The crew of the Enterprise under the command Christopher Pike in 2259

James T. Kirk's command crew[]

There will be no tribble at all

The crew of the USS Enterprise enjoy a jovial moment with Captain Kirk

Constitution II class bridge, 2270s

The crew of the USS Enterprise in the early 2270s

Constitution II class bridge, 2285

The crew of the USS Enterprise in 2285



The number of the Enterprise's crew complement more than doubled over the duration of its service.

In 2254, the Enterprise had a complement of 203, this stated following the loss of three crewmembers at Rigel VII. (TOS: "The Cage", "The Menagerie, Part I")

USS Enterprise details and specs

Enterprise's file

In 2257, scans showed the entire crew complement was also stated to be 203, yet in a display graphic specifically stated that the crew compliment was 430; 43 officers and 387 enlisted.

In 2265, the Enterprise's complement consisted of "almost a hundred women." (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")

In 2266, Captain Ramart commented to Charlie Evans that the Enterprise was "like a whole city in space," compared to his ship, the USS Antares, which had a relatively meager complement of twenty. Ramart further explained that there were "over 400 in the crew of a starship," which was clarified by Kirk as actually "428, to be exact." (TOS: "Charlie X")

Jadzia Dax observed to Benjamin Sisko, after they transported aboard the Enterprise, that "they really packed them in on these old ships." (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

The 203 crew count originated from an initial Star Trek is... pitch (p. 9), which Gene Roddenberry wrote while devising Star Trek in March 1964, whereas he had revised the number upwards to 430, "approximately one-third of them female," in a 17 April 1967 third draft of the The Star Trek Guide (p. 7). The latter number was adopted by Franz Joseph for his 1975 Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual, whose "Class I Heavy Cruiser – Constitution Class Starships" specifications, in turn, became the source for most of the information visible on the Enterprise graphic display in DIS: "Brother".


Service aboard the Enterprise proved to be hazardous duty. Between 2265 and 2269, individuals who were killed while assigned to the ship included at least fifty-eight officers and crew. Nine crew members were killed when the Enterprise encountered the galactic barrier in 2265. Gary Mitchell, Lee Kelso, and Elizabeth Dehner later died on Delta Vega. (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")

Two of seven crewmembers assigned to study Murasaki 312 on the shuttlecraft GalileoLatimer and Gaetano – both met an unfortunate end, by the hand of a large creature on the planet Taurus II. (TOS: "The Galileo Seven")

In 2267, Enterprise security officers Hendorff, Kaplan, Mallory, and Marple were killed on planet Gamma Trianguli VI. (TOS: "The Apple") Further incidents with multiple fatalities included four security guards killed by Nomad in 2267, as well as five security guards killed by a dikironium cloud creature on Argus X in 2268. (TOS: "The Changeling", "Obsession") An outbreak of Rigelian fever, in 2269, killed three crewmen and imperiled the rest until a source of ryetalyn could be obtained. (TOS: "Requiem for Methuselah")

As well, two Enterprise security officers were beamed out into open space while the ship was under the control of Gorgan. (TOS: "And the Children Shall Lead") Lieutenant Galloway was vaporized by Captain Tracey on Omega IV, (TOS: "The Omega Glory") but later was somehow resurrected. (TOS: "Turnabout Intruder") Yeoman Thompson was reduced to a dry cuboctahedron solid. She was killed when the Kelvan Rojan crushed the object in his hand. (TOS: "By Any Other Name")

At some point after stardate 3619.2 in 2268, but before 2270, security officer Ensign David Garrovick vanished along with the shuttlecraft Galileo from the ship. His ultimate fate on Planet 0042692 was not discovered until 2384. (PRO: "All the World's a Stage")

In the mid-2270s, Commander Sonak and an Enterprise officer were killed in a transporter accident while beaming to the ship. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)



Background information[]


The CG Enterprise from the "remastered" opening credits

Sickbay painting

The Enterprise on a painting aboard the Enterprise-D

The Enterprise and its interiors in The Original Series were designed primarily by Matt Jefferies. A three-foot demonstration model was completed in November 1964 by the Howard Anderson Company to show to Gene Roddenberry. After getting his approval, an eleven-foot model was then constructed by Richard C. Datin, Jr., Mel Keys, and Vern Sion at Volmer Jensen's model shop, and was finished in December 1964. The eleven-foot model was modified for "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and again for the regular series effect shots. Re-used footage of all three stages of the eleven-foot model's appearance are shown mixed together in TOS.

In the final draft script of "The Naked Time", the Enterprise was somewhat poetically described thus; "Sleek… efficient… the look of man in space… tooled… equipped…"

For Star Trek: The Animated Series, the color of the Enterprise was limited. D.C. Fontana commented, "For the purposes of animation you can't do the light white, silver kinds of colors. So they made the Enterprise gray and it came off all right." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 16, p. 68)

Some distinctive effects shots of the Enterprise from TOS were recreated in animation for Star Trek: The Animated Series. Depicting the ship performing any new, impressive maneuvers would have been too costly for TAS and would have taken the animators too long to show, despite frequent TAS Director Hal Sutherland later implying that a desire to portray the ship doing "barrel rolls and that kind of thing" was quite common. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 16, pp. 63 & 64)

The 2270s configuration of the Enterprise depicted in the films Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock was designed by Richard Taylor and Andrew Probert, based on designs for the vessel made by Matt Jefferies for the undeveloped television series Star Trek: Phase II. The design for the movie version was the basis of a design patent issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office.

The Enterprise was to have appeared in Star Trek: The First Adventure, which would have revealed that the design of the ship in TOS was actually a refit; the original design resembled Enterprise NX-01, though that vessel was created years earlier. When Star Trek: Discovery season 1's finale aired, this idea was continued, as when the Enterprise showed up at the end, it had elements of the NX-01 incorporated into the new model.

The Enterprise was recreated as a new physical model for the DS9 Season 5 episode "Trials and Tribble-ations". The ship's interior was represented with sets built on Paramount Stage 11. (Information from Larry Nemecek) The CG model of Constitution-class USS Defiant, created for "In a Mirror, Darkly", was relabeled as the Enterprise for the final scene of "These Are the Voyages...", the last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise.

A new CG model, built from caliper measurements of the original eleven-foot physical model, was created for use in the remastered and recreated version of The Original Series (for more detailed treatises on the studio models used, see Constitution-class model (original).

Visual effects artist Gabriel Koerner created a re-imagined version of the pre-refit Enterprise from the movies. The design is more contemporary, while keeping the design of The Original Series version of the ship. A video showing the ship from various angles can be seen on YouTube. The model was also featured as the August image for the 2007 Ships of the Line calendar, as well as in the Ships of the Line coffee-table book, placed between TOS and TMP images, which included text from Michael Okuda suggesting it as one of the ideas on how to refit the ship.

The Enterprise was pictured on three paintings during the Star Trek franchise: on a painting in the recreation deck of the 2270s configuration of the vessel, in Star Trek: The Motion Picture; on a painting in the waiting area of the sickbay aboard the USS Enterprise-D, in the Star Trek: The Next Generation fifth season episode "Ethics"; and on a painting on the wall of Kirk's kitchen in the Nexus, in Star Trek Generations.

Upon preparing to view the bridge of the Enterprise in the first draft script of TNG: "Relics", Montgomery Scott specified, "Show her the way she was before stardate 5928," referencing the stardate on which TOS series finale "Turnabout Intruder" takes place. Consequently, this line of dialogue would have established that the holographic simulation of the Enterprise's bridge in "Relics" was definitely contemporaneous with the exact setting of TOS. Scott did not specify that in the final draft of the script, however. [4] The line is also not spoken on screen.

The Enterprise was to have been referenced in the first draft script of VOY: "Flashback", in connection with its near-destruction at Eminiar VII. However, all mention of the vessel was eliminated from the episode by the time the final draft of the script was written.

A new CGI model was created for the appearance of the USS Enterprise in the Season 1 finale of Star Trek: Discovery, "Will You Take My Hand?". This model updated the appearance of the USS Enterprise to better match the style of other Starfleet ships depicted in the show, most noticeably changing the Enterprise's nacelles to have visible, glowing blue cutouts on the inner surface. The impulse engine was also different, and the nacelle pylons were swept back with openings in their centers similar to the 2270s configuration. The new model also had a longer "runway" before the shuttlebay doors.

External links[]