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"My friends, we've come home."

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) was a Constitution II-class vessel operated by Starfleet in the 23rd century. It was the second Federation starship to bear the name Enterprise, and was assigned to the newly-demoted Captain James T. Kirk and his command crew in 2286. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

After the Enterprise-A was decommissioned following the Khitomer Conference in 2293, it was maintained as an exhibit at the Fleet Museum. The ship's lineage was continued with the launch of the USS Enterprise-B. (TNG: "Relics"; Star Trek Generations)


The Enterprise-A was named in honour of its predecessor, the USS Enterprise, which was scuttled over the Genesis Planet several months prior. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Externally, the Enterprise-A was virtually identical to the Enterprise in its Constitution II-class configuration. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

The new Enterprise had a number of individualized customizations, including several maritime relics such as a steering wheel from a sailing vessel inscribed with the ship's motto, "to boldly go where no man has gone before," located in its crew lounge. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

The officers' mess featured painted portraits of several historical figures, including displayed portraits of Abraham Lincoln of Earth and Sarek of Vulcan. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Service history


USS Enterprise-A in spacedock

The Enterprise-A awaiting launch from Spacedock One in 2286

In 2286, the Enterprise-A was commissioned at the San Francisco Fleet Yards on stardate 8442.5. It was launched from Spacedock One on the order of the Federation Council in appreciation of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew's efforts to prevent the Whale Probe from devastating Earth. The crew initially thought they were going to be assigned to a "freighter" at best, according to Leonard McCoy, or the USS Excelsior, but the new Enterprise was soon revealed, docked next to the Excelsior. The crew took their stations and the Enterprise left Spacedock on a shakedown cruise. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

The shakedown did not proceed as planned, and the Enterprise limped back to Spacedock for several weeks of repair under the supervision of Captain Montgomery Scott. Although its warp drive was working perfectly, half the doors on the ship were malfunctioning and several control interfaces did not work. The transporter was also non-operational, requiring shuttles to be used for away missions.

Sybok and Sha Ka Ree

USS Enterprise-A in orbit of Sha Ka Ree

The Enterprise in orbit of Sha Ka Ree

Before repairs were complete, Enterprise was returned to active duty to intervene in a hostage situation on Nimbus III. The away team led by Captain Kirk were themselves taken prisoner by the rogue Vulcan Sybok and his followers, with the objective of stealing the Enterprise to aid in their quest to find Sha Ka Ree. On approach to the ship aboard the shuttle Galileo, Commander Hikaru Sulu was forced to make an emergency crash landing into the Enterprise landing bay as the craft was pursued by a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, commanded by Klaa. The Bird-of-Prey would follow the Enterprise to the center of the galaxy.

The Bird-of-Prey caught the Enterprise off-guard in orbit of Sha Ka Ree, and disabled it before the crew could raise shields or arm weapons. However, Klingon ambassador Korrd, rescued from Nimbus III, relieved Captain Klaa and ordered the Bird-of-Prey to stand down. The Klingon crew was later invited to a reception following the return of the Enterprise to Kirk's command, and the discovery that Sha Ka Ree was a myth. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Spock kept a picture of himself and his friends taken on the bridge of the Enterprise-A from this time for the next century until his death in 2263 of the alternate reality. (Star Trek Beyond)

Sometime after the mission to Sha Ka Ree, Commander Sulu transferred off the Enterprise-A to assume command of the USS Excelsior. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; PIC: "The Star Gazer" commemorative plaque)

Gaseous anomaly project

In the early 2290s, the Enterprise-A was outfitted with advanced equipment for the study of gaseous planetary anomalies. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Final voyage

USS Enterprise-A escorting Kronos One

The Enterprise-A escorting the Klingon flagship, Kronos One, in 2293

In 2293, the Enterprise-A was due to be retired along with many of its command crew. However, it was unexpectedly assigned as an escort for Klingon chancellor Gorkon during the initial stages of peace talks that would lead to the Khitomer Accords. The ship rendezvoused with the Klingon flagship, Kronos One, and was to accompany it to Earth. A joint Starfleet, Klingon, and Romulan conspiracy had an operative, Lieutenant Valeris, placed aboard the ship as a relief helmsman. Valeris participated in a plan to implicate the Enterprise and Captain Kirk as rogue assailants in Gorkon's murder, with the goal of derailing the peace process. The Enterprise appeared to fire two photon torpedoes at Kronos One, temporarily disabling its propulsion and gravity systems. Amid the chaos two space-suited Starfleet crew members, Burke and Samno, beamed aboard and assassinated Gorkon. Valeris altered the ship's databank records to make it seem as if two torpedoes had been fired. The torpedoes actually came from a cloaked prototype Bird-of-Prey positioned directly below the Enterprise, which had been modified to fire while cloaked.

Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy were arrested and tried for the murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment on the penal colony Rura Penthe. Valeris also provided Kirk's log entries from the Enterprise to the Klingon co-conspirators to further implicate him. The Enterprise was ordered back to Earth, but Spock ignored these orders and began an investigation aboard the ship. He discovered evidence which linked Valeris to the conspiracy, despite her best efforts to sabotage the investigation. The Enterprise then entered Klingon space, masquerading as the freighter Ursva, and rescued Kirk and McCoy. Spock forcibly mind melded with Valeris and learned more about the conspiracy, including details of the Bird-of-Prey and names of those involved. Captain Sulu aboard the USS Excelsior provided Kirk with the new location of the peace conference, and the two ships raced to Khitomer in order to prevent the assassination of the Federation President and the new Klingon chancellor, Azetbur.

USS Enterprise-A hull breach

The hull breached

General Chang was waiting in orbit in his prototype Bird-of-Prey, and the Enterprise was attacked upon arrival. The starship was seriously damaged and suffered a hull breach through its saucer section when it's deflector shields were depleted. The Excelsior, too, was unable to track the cloaked ship, and could only give Chang another target to fire at. However, Spock, McCoy, and Uhura devised a plan to fire a photon torpedo equipped with sensors capable of tracking ionization from the Bird-of-Prey's impulse engines. It successfully impacted Chang's vessel, disabling its cloaking device and leaving it vulnerable to attack from Enterprise and Excelsior. Following the destruction of the Bird-of-Prey, teams from both ships beamed down to the Khitomer Conference and apprehended the conspirators, preventing the assassination. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

USS Enterprise-A leaves Khitomer

"Second star to the right… and straight on 'til morning"

Following the Khitomer mission, the Enterprise was ordered by Starfleet Command to return to Spacedock to be decommissioned. In response, Captain Kirk ordered a course set for the "second star to the right... and straight on 'til morning." Kirk later recorded in his log that this was to be the final cruise of the starship Enterprise under his command, commenting, "This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man – where no one – has gone before." (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)


USS Enterprise-A, 2401

The Enterprise on display at the Fleet Museum

The next USS Enterprise, the refit Excelsior-class USS Enterprise-B, was launched later that year. The Enterprise-A remained mothballed as of 2294. (Star Trek Generations; TNG: "Relics")

Following its decommissioning, the Enterprise-A's battle damage was repaired at Spacedock, and the ship was preserved as a museum exhibit. It would eventually be displayed between the USS Voyager and the USS Excelsior at the Fleet Museum at Athan Prime. Upon seeing the ship in 2401, Jack Crusher identified it as his personal favorite. Calling it "Kirk's Enterprise," he remarked, "All those perfectly clean retro lines. Yep, I'm definitely a Constitution-class man." (PIC: "The Bounty")

In 2402, the rebuilt USS Enterprise-D was returned to the Fleet Museum and given a place of honor between the Enterprise-A and the USS Stargazer. (PIC: "The Last Generation")

Embarked craft

The Enterprise had at least two shuttlecraft, including the Galileo and the Copernicus. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Command crew

Spock's group photo

The USS Enterprise-A command crew circa 2287

Constitution II class bridge, 2293

The USS Enterprise-A command crew at the end of their final mission

See also: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) personnel



Background information

The Enterprise-A was a reuse of the refit Enterprise model built for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The ship was designed by Andrew Probert and Richard Taylor, partly based on Matt Jefferies and Mike Minor's design sketches for Star Trek: Phase II. Other artists who worked on the refit design were Joe Jennings, Douglas Trumbull, and Harold Michelson. Michelson also designed the sets for the first film, which were altered to become those of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In the first draft script of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home but not in the final version of that film, the "A" in this Enterprise's registry was finished being painted on top of the primary hull just as the shuttle containing Kirk and his senior staff arrived; this scene was retained in the novelization of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Also, the same script described the ship being shown emerging from Spacedock, though that is not depicted on-screen. The scene instead cuts from the vessel being inside Spacedock to being outside the facility, already in space.

The bridge seen in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was a simple redress of the existing bridge from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. It was painted white and the lighting scheme was slightly altered. In addition, okudagrams replaced the gauges and dials formerly seen on the ship. Only the back half of the bridge was modified, the front portion was left unchanged. [1]

By Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, most of the movie Enterprise sets had been recycled to become the Enterprise-D of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The bridge had been irrevocably modified as various Starfleet bridges seen throughout the series, including the Enterprise-D battle bridge, and also became several science labs and alien interiors. (citation needededit) A new bridge was constructed under supervision of production designer Herman Zimmerman, who wanted to show a transition to the TNG era by introducing carpet and warmer tones to the bridge. The turbolift alcoves were the only parts saved from the previous set, as they were removed during TNG's second season. Other Enterprise-D sets were reused for the film, specifically sickbay, the transporter room, and the corridors, in order to save money; much of the signage and graphics were left in place, and TNG-style door labels and control panels can be seen on the sets.

According to Michael and Denise Okuda's text commentary for the Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Special Edition) DVD, the shuttlebay doors as seen in The Final Frontier were modified from a portion of the Zamundan Royal Palace set from the 1988 Eddie Murphy film Coming to America.

The new bridge was reused in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (citation needededit) for both the Enterprise and the Excelsior, with some modifications. Director Nick Meyer wanted to give the vessels a much more militaristic feel, and incorporated metal flooring and some tactile control surfaces. Enterprise-D sets were used for engineering, sickbay, the transporter room, the officers' mess, Kirk's and Spock's quarters, and the corridors, but they were disguised better for this film, undergoing several changes.

Sickbay painting

The Enterprise-A on a painting aboard the Enterprise-D

The bridge set was placed in storage at the end of production. It was later turned into the Enterprise-B bridge and the Amargosa observatory for Star Trek Generations, the Excelsior again in "Flashback", and many "guest" Starfleet ships on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, including the USS Prometheus (VOY: "Message in a Bottle") and the USS Equinox. (VOY: "Equinox") The turbolift alcoves eventually became part of the USS Enterprise-E bridge in Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek Nemesis. (Star Trek: Captain's Chair)

The model of the Enterprise-A (lot #1000) was sold at the 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection auction on 7 October 2006 for US$240,000.

The Enterprise-A was pictured 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". This unfinished painting was created by Andrew Probert during the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Interactive Technical Manual)

USS Enterprise mislabeled as the Enterprise-A

The USS Enterprise was mislabeled as the Enterprise-A in "Ephraim and Dot".

The original refit Enterprise was erroneously labeled as the Enterprise-A in the Star Trek: Short Treks episode "Ephraim and Dot". Director Michael Giacchino admitted this was a mistake due to a difficult production schedule. [2]


While the ship's history before its appearance at the end of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home has never been officially stated, several non-canon sources offered explanations following the release of the film. The AMT/Ertl Model kit documentation claimed it to be a renamed USS Yorktown (NCC-1717), while the Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Sourcebook Update for the FASA roleplaying game identified it as the newly-built Atlantis (NCC-1786). The book Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise, also published shortly after the film, identifies it as a different newly-built starship, the USS Ti-Ho (NCC-1798), which in the book had been a test bed for transwarp technology alongside the USS Excelsior. In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Captain Scott alludes to the ship being newly-built during its shakedown cruise, stating in his log "This new ship must have been built by monkeys".

According to the paperwork with the Bandai model kit, the Enterprise-A was mothballed into Memory Alpha's museum fleet, which was later supported by Scott's comments in "Relics". This was confirmed in the season 3 of Star Trek: Picard, where a display shows the Enterprise-A at the museum alongside the Excelsior and Voyager.

In the comic book "TNG Special 3", the Enterprise-A was on display at Starbase 122 (β)'s Starfleet museum in 2369 where it was visited by Scott after his rescue from the Dyson Sphere in "Relics".

According to William Shatner's novel The Ashes of Eden, the Enterprise-A was sold by Starfleet to the defense forces of the planet Chal (β), who appointed the now-retired James Kirk as its commander. The vessel was later destroyed in the corona of Chal's sun during a battle with Klingon battle cruisers. These events are later referenced in the novel Cast No Shadow.

The Enterprise-A featured in several computer games set in the motion picture era, including Star Trek: Starfleet Command and Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, as well as a simulated foe in Star Trek: Klingon Academy.

The Enterprise-A was featured in the 2006 video games Star Trek: Encounters and Star Trek: Legacy.

External links