|Caption:||The USS Enterprise at warp|
|Affilitation:||United Federation of Planets|
|Mass:||<1,000,000 metric tons|
|Crew:||430 (43 officers, 387 enlisted) (2260s-2270s)|
|Maximum Speed:||Warp 9 (Cochrane scale)|
|Armament:||8 phaser emitters (4 banks of 2), fore and aft photon torpedo launchers|
|The mission patch of the USS Enterprise.|
|Caption:||The mission patch of the USS Enterprise|
The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) was a Constitution class heavy cruiser launched in 2245, that became the most celebrated Federation Starfleet vessel of the 23rd Century. In her forty years of service and discovery, through several upgrades and a comprehensive refit, she took part in numerous first contacts, military engagements, and time-travels. She achieved her most lasting fame from the five-year mission of 2265-2270, under the command of James T. Kirk. The Enterprise was destroyed in 2285.
In the early 23rd century, twelve heavy cruiser-type starships, the Constitution class, were commissioned by the Federation for service in Starfleet and UESPA. The vessel registered NCC-1701 was constructed at the San Francisco Fleet Yards in Earth orbit and launched in 2245, christened the Enterprise. Captain Robert April oversaw construction of her components and commanded her during trial runs and early missions. (TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident")
Captain Christopher Pike commanded Enterprise from the early 2250s into the 2260s. His missions included voyages to the Rigel, Vega and Talos systems, prior to his promotion to Fleet Captain. Pike's half-Vulcan science officer, Spock, served under him for over eleven years, and would become the starship's longest-serving officer. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I")
Kirk's five-year mission
In 2265, the Enterprise was assigned to a five-year mission of deep-space exploration, and her command passed to the youngest captain in the fleet, James T. Kirk. Beyond her primary mission, over the next five years, the Enterprise defended Federation territories from aggression, aided member worlds in crisis, and performed diplomatic functions. Additional standing orders included investigation of all quasars and quasar-like phenomena, and providing scientific expeditions in her patrol area with annual examinations and support. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", "The Cloud Minders", "Journey to Babel", "The Galileo Seven", "The Deadly Years")
While her first mission was the costliest, service aboard the Enterprise continued to be hazardous duty. Fifty-eight officers and crew were killed between 2265 and 2269 – 13.5% of the standard complement of 430. Other deadly missions included five security guards killed by the dikironium cloud creature on Argus X in 2267; and the four security guards and two engineering technicians killed by Nomad in 2268. An outbreak of Rigelian fever in 2269 killed three crewman and imperiled the rest until a source of ryetalyn could be obtained. (TOS: "Obsession", "The Changeling", "Requiem for Methuselah")
From 2265 to 2269, Enterprise visited over seventy different worlds and encountered representatives of over sixty different Races and cultures 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 and Trelane. Two discovered species were the first known examples of silicon-based life forms, the Horta and the Excalbians. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Arena", "By Any Other Name", "The Devil in the Dark", "The Savage Curtain")
The five-year mission began less than auspiciously. An extra-galactic probe attempted on stardate 1312 led to Enterprise 's collision with the previously-undocumented Galactic Barrier, critically damaging ship's systems and killing nine crewmembers. Effects of the barrier's unusual energy on humans led to the death of three officers. After Enterprise was upgraded with Kelvan technology in 2268, she was able to survive the barrier crossing before turning back. In her final crossing that same year, the starship was temporarily stranded in a void region just beyond the barrier, before she could return to normal galactic space. (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "By Any Other Name", "Is There in Truth No Beauty?")
The reality of time travel, externally influenced, had been known for over a century, but following two accidental temporal displacements, Enterprise became the Federation's first deliberately controlled timeship. Observing the death-throes of Psi 2000, the crew suffered from polywater intoxication and Enterprise nearly lost orbit after an engine shut-down. A previously untested "cold-restart", 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. 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, Enterprise was ordered to repeat the recently proven slingshot effect, and returned to Earth's past on a mission of historical observation. (TOS: "The Naked Time", "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Assignment: Earth")
Some missions of discovery confronted Enterprise with entities and mechanisms that threatened great swaths of Federation and neighboring space. An ancient "Doomsday machine", fueled by the consumption of planets it destroyed with its antiproton weapon, approached Federation population centers in 2267, requiring the combined efforts of the USS Constellation and Enterprise to destroy it. A single-cell organism of colossal scale emitted negative energy toxic to humanoid life, killing the entire Vulcan crew of the USS Intrepid. Enterprise penetrated the cell interior and destroyed the organism before its imminent cell division threatened to overwhelm the rest of the galaxy. TOS: "The Doomsday Machine", "The Immunity Syndrome")
The nature of her mission of exploration meant Enterprise was frequently the only Federation military asset in a little-known, otherwise undefended frontier. When she was called in to harm's way, she regularly did so with little chance of immediate support against previously unknown enemies and threats. Happily, her earliest engagement of the five-year mission, against the deceptively powerful starship Fesarius, ended with an amicable first contact with the First Federation in 2266. Following the destruction of Cestus III, the surprise attack of a previously unknown species led to the battle and chase of an evenly-matched Gorn starship in 2267. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Balance of Terror", "Arena")
More familiar opponents of the Enterprise were the battlecruisers of the Imperial Klingon Fleet. While Starfleet rallied its forces at the outbreak of the First Federation-Klingon War, Enterprise was sent forward to secure a border region anchored by the planet Organia, where it destroyed a Klingon vessel and prepared to engage an approaching Klingon fleet. After the Organian Peace Treaty averted that battle, Enterprise sporadically skirmished with Klingon D-7s throughout of her voyage. Commander Kor held the Enterprise and Kirk in high professional regard, and relished the prospect of battle. Lower ranks chose to mock the starship, as when Korax compared her to a "garbage scow", before he corrected himself, adding, "it should be hauled away as garbage". (TOS: "Errand of Mercy", "The Trouble with Tribbles", "Elaan of Troyius", et al.)
During her tour, the Romulan Star Empire reemerged from a century of isolation to antagonize the Federation. Enterprise responded to the Neutral Zone Incursion of 2266, and was victorious over a new bird-of-prey equipped with a cloaking device and plasma torpedo system. In later encounters, the Romulan fleet used strength of numbers in their efforts to overwhelm Enterprise. When Commodore Stocker took temporary command and violated the Neutral Zone in 2268, up to ten Birds-of-Prey swarmed and pummeled the starship until Kirk's "corbomite" bluff warned them off. Enterprise violated the Zone later that year for the purpose of espionage, and she was quickly surrounded by three battle cruisers. She escaped by becoming the first Federation vessel to install and successfully utilize a (stolen) Romulan cloaking device. The ship also faced a Romulan vessel near Tau Ceti where it employed the Cochrane Decelaration manuever to defeat the enemy. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", "The Deadly Years", "The Enterprise Incident", "Whom Gods Destroy")
The Enterprise played the fox to the hounds of her four sisters in a war games exercise on stardate 4729.4. Equipped with the new M-5 computer and stripped of most of her crew, Enterprise became a killing machine – crippling the USS Excalibur (NCC-1664) and killing her entire crew – before Kirk could re-assert control. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")
Refit and further service
Reaching the end of her five-year mission, Enterprise returned to Earth in 2270. Following her success, Enterprise had become a recognized symbol of Starfleet and the Federation. Starfleet's array of unique assignment patches were abandoned for the universal adoption of the Enterprise delta symbol. The stalwart vessel herself, was now twenty-five years old and returning from a deployment that included a unprecedented number of warp-speed records, hull-pounding battles, and frame-stressing maneuvers.
System upgrades with new technologies after long deployments weren't unusual in her history, but Enterprise 's overhaul of the early 2270s became a 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 warp engine nacelles atop swept-back pylons, integrated with the impulse engines. The new drive system allowed for an expanded cargo hold in the secondary hull, linked to the shuttlebay deck. Weapons system upgrades included nine dual-phaser banks with power channeled from the warp engines, and double photon torpedo/probe launcher atop the secondary hull. Multiple egress points now included a port-side spacedock hatch, dual ventral EVA bays, four dorsal service hatches, and a standardized docking ring port aft of the bridge on the primary hull; four more docking ring ports, paired on port and starboard side of the launcher and secondary hulls respectively, and service hatch airlocks on the port and starboard sides of the hanger bay's main clam-shell doors. A new bridge module reflected the modern computer systems, operating interfaces, and ergonomics that ran throughout the ship.
Following his promotion to Rear Admiral as Chief of Starfleet Operations, Kirk's hand-picked successor, Captain Willard Decker oversaw the refit, assisted by Chief engineer Commander Montgomery Scott. Enterprise was pressed into service, weeks ahead of schedule, in response to the V'Ger crisis, once again under Kirk's command. Decker was temporarily demoted to commander and served as science officer because of his familiarity with the new design. Incomplete systems had to be serviced during her "shakedown cruise" en route to V'Ger, including the first test of the new warp engines. A matter/antimatter intermix malfunction led to the Enterprise 's entry into an unstable wormhole. The timely arrival of Commander Spock brought correction to the problem. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Once the V'Ger threat was averted, Enterprise remained under Admiral Kirk's command until his brief retirement in 2281, when command of the starship passed on to Captain Spock. The new designs and components tested and proven aboard Enterprise influenced a generation of starship design, from the Miranda-class to the Constellation-class, as well as other retro-fitted Constitutions. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
In 2285, Enterprise was in a low-tempo training cycle, based in the Sol system. Admiral Kirk boarded his old command to observe a cadet training cruise, Meanwhile, Khan Noonien Singh had escaped from his exile on Ceti Alpha V and hijacked the USS Reliant, leading to his theft of the Genesis Device from the Regula I space station. The Enterprise was tasked to investigate, and Spock deferred his command to Admiral Kirk. The subsequent engagements with Reliant left the Enterprise badly damaged with cadet and crew deaths, including Captain Spock. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
Upon her return to Earth, Starfleet Commander in Chief Admiral Harry Morrow announced that the starship, now forty years old, would be decommissioned. Denied his wish to return to the Mutara sector, Kirk conspired with his senior officers and stole Enterprise from Earth Spacedock – in order to recover Spock's body from the Genesis Planet; to bring it, and his "katra", to Vulcan. At her destination, a Klingon Bird-of-Prey's attack left the Enterprise disabled. After setting an auto-destruct sequence, Kirk and his crew abandoned the ship for the surface. Demolition charges in place throughout Enterprise's hull exploded, killing the Klingon boarding party. The hull fell from orbit and immolated in the planet's atmosphere. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
- Captain Robert April (2245)
- Captain Christopher Pike (2250s through early 2260s)
- Captain James T. Kirk (2265-2270), as Rear Admiral from 2273-2281)
- Captain Willard Decker (2270-2273 during refit)
- Captain Spock (through 2285)
Command crew under Kirk's command
- Commanding officer
- Captain James T. Kirk
- executive and science officer
- Chief engineer
- Chief medical officer
- Communications officer
- Security chief
- Lieutenant Commander Giotto (2267)
- "Enterprise" (a Human word for a venture of scope, risk and promise) has a long Earth lineage, from the age of sail through the warp 5 engine. l'Entreprenant (enterprising) was a French sailing ship in 1671. A subsequent ship, l'Enterprise was captured by the British Royal Navy in 1705 and renamed HMS Enterprize, a name used in British and American navies through the 21st century. A prototype for NASA's space shuttle fleet was named Space Shuttle Enterprise ( OV-101) by popular demand in 1976. The first Earth Starfleet vessel commissioned Enterprise (NX-01) launched in 2151 under Captain Jonathan Archer, initiating the era of humanity's deep space exploration.
- The design for the Enterprise refit was the basis of a Design Patent issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- The Enterprise itself, as well as it's interiors, was designed by Matt Jefferies. The refit was designed by Andrew Probert, based on the designs for the vessel made by Matt Jefferies for Star Trek: Phase II.
- Star Trek: The Original Series
- Star Trek: The Animated Series
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
- Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (shown on recording)
- 'TNG: "Relics" (bridge shown on holodeck)
- DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations"
- ENT: "These Are the Voyages..." (Closing montage)