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The Enterprise or USS Enterprise (often referred to as the "Starship Enterprise") is the name of several fictional starships, some of which are the focal point for various television series and films in the Star Trek franchise created by Gene Roddenberry. The majority of these vessels share "NCC-1701" as part of their registry, with later ships appending a letter to the registry to differentiate them.

Enterprise history

The name Enterprise comes from a long series of ships. The first was the French frigate LEntreprise, captured by the British in 1705. The British rechristened the ship HMS Enterprise for use by the Royal Navy. A further nine Royal Navy commissioned warships carried the name "Enterprise". The first United States ship to use the name USS Enterprise was a Revolutionary War-era sloop-of-war. The eighth American ship to bear this namemarker was the world's first nuclear aircraft carrier.


Ralph McQuarrie's Redesigned Enterprise
Final Phase II Design
According to The Star Trek Encyclopedia, the registry number "NCC-1701"

"...was devised by Matt Jefferies, art director of the first Star Trek series.
Jefferies, who is a pilot, based NCC on 20th century aircraft registration codes.
In such 20th century usage, an "N" first letter refers to an aircraft registered in the USA.
A "C" for a second letter refers to a civil aircraft.
Jefferies added a second "C", just because he thought it looked better."

The Franz Joseph Blueprints and a handful of Star Trek novels state that NCC is an initialism for "Naval Construction Contract."

In Gene Roddenberry's original Star Trek pitch, the starship is described as a "United Space Ship," and in two episodes of the original series (TOS), Kirk refers to the "United Space Ship Enterprise."

Star Trek: Phase II

Before Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Paramount had planned a new Star Trek television series to have been named Star Trek: Phase II. Early in the production, Ralph McQuarrie had been hired to redesign the ship. The major feature of the redesign was to replace the cigar-shaped secondary hull with a larger, triangle-shaped section. McQuarrie's design was discarded in favor of keeping the general shape of the ship intact.


Pre-Federation era

Two Enterprises predate the United Federation of Planets.

XCV 330
Registry: USS Enterprise

Class: Declaration

Service: circa 2130s

Captain: Unknown

This USS Enterprise (XCV 330) appears in Star Trek: The Motion Picture among a series of illustrations depicting ships named Enterprise. The 1979 Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology describes this "first interstellar liner" as a Declaration-class ship launched in 2123.

Registry: Enterprise

Class: NX

Service: 2151 – 2161

Captain: Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula)

The United Earth Starfleet's Enterprise is the main setting of Star Trek: Enterprise.

The Original Series era

Three ships named USS Enterprise are featured in the original Star Trek television series and the first through sixth Star Trek films.

Registry: USS Enterprise

Class: Constitution

Service: 2245 – 2285

Captains: Robert April (James Doohan, Gene Roddenberry), Christopher Pike (Jeffrey Hunter), James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Willard Decker (Stephen Collins) (refit), Spock (Leonard Nimoy) (refit)

The Federation's first Enterprise is the main setting of the original Star Trek series (1966–1969) and The Animated Series (1973–74). A refitted Enterprise appears in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), before being destroyed in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984).

Registry: USS Enterprise

Class: Constitution

Service: 2286 – 2293

Captain: James T. Kirk (William Shatner)

This ship first appears at the end of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) and is the main setting of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1988) and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). The ship is ordered decommissioned at the end of The Undiscovered Country. Paperwork included with the model kit indicated the ship was mothballed at the Memory Alpha ship museum, and William Shatner's novel The Ashes of Eden (1996) depicts the Enterprise-A's removal from the mothball fleet before being destroyed defending the planet Chal.

Registry: USS Enterprise

Class: Excelsior

Service: 2293 –

Captain: John Harriman (Alan Ruck)

Launched at the start of Star Trek Generations (1994). James T. Kirk goes missing during the ship's maiden voyage. According to Star Trek novels, Demora Sulu becomes captain after Harriman.

The Next Generation era

Three ships named Enterprise are featured in Star Trek: The Next Generation and four TNG-era films.
Registry: USS Enterprise

Class: Ambassador

Service: 2332 – 2344

Captain: Rachel Garrett (Tricia O'Neil)

This ship appears in the Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise" (1990). The ship was destroyed attempting to defend the Klingon outpost Narendra III from Romulan attack. Survivors included Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby), whose alternate timeline version from "Yesterday's Enterprise" travels with the ship back in time to the battle over Narendra III. The actions of the Enterprise-C's crew became a catalyst for the alliance between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

Registry: USS Enterprise

Class: Galaxy

Service: 2363 – 2371

Captains: Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), William Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Edward Jellico (Ronny Cox)

The main setting of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994). The Enterprise was lost in 2371 after an attack by a renegade Klingon Bird-of-Prey (commanded by the Duras sisters) caused extensive damage, leading to a warp core breach. Although the saucer section was safely separated before the breach, the shock wave from the explosion forced it into the atmosphere of Veridian III. The ship, however, was not salvageable. Star Trek: Generations (1994).

Registry: USS Enterprise

Class: Sovereign

Service: 2372 – Active (as of 2380)

Captain: Jean-Luc Picard

The main setting for the films Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998), and Star Trek Nemesis (2002).

Alternate timelines

In All Good Things..., the final episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Enterprise-D was shown in an alternate future where it had been refit to include a third nacelle and large phaser cannons on the saucer section.

The Next Generation novel Imzadi shows an alternate timeline Enterprise-F commanded by Commodore Data in the 25th century. War of the Prophets, one of the Millennium trilogy of Star Trek novels by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, presents an alternate universe Enterprise-F destroyed in the 24th century.

The "Azati Prime" episode of Star Trek: Enterprise involves time travel and features a scene in which the Enterprise-J appears. The Enterprise-J operates in one possible version of the 26th century.

The Star Trek fan production Star Trek: Of Gods and Men includes a recreation of the original series' Constitution-class Enterprise designated NCC-1701-M.

Mirror Universe

The Mirror Universe first appeared in the original series as reality where a militaristic empire exists in place of the regular universe's United Federation of Planets. Subsequent episodes have shown that the divergence at least predates the Moon landing, with licensed novels putting the divergence before Shakespeare, or even classic Greek literature.
ISS Enterprise (NX-01)
Registry: ISS Enterprise (NX-01)

Class: NX

Service: 2150s

Captains: Maximilian Forrest (Vaughn Armstrong), Jonathan Archer

The Star Trek: Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly" features a Mirror Universe version of the NX-01 Enterprise. This ship is equipped with a cloaking device, deflector shields, a tractor beam, a prototype Agony Booth, and different exterior markings. It is commanded by Captain Maximilian Forrest, although for a brief time his first officer, Commander Jonathan Archer, takes command following a mutiny. This Enterprise is destroyed by the Tholians.

Remastered ISS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
Registry: ISS Enterprise (NCC-1701)

Class: Constitution

Service: 2260s

Captains: Christopher Pike, James T. Kirk, Spock

A Mirror Universe Enterprise appears in the original Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror". The ship is equipped with an agony booth and the mirror Captain Kirk's deadly Tantalus device. The ISS Enterprise was originally the same shooting model as the regular Enterprise. The remastered version of "Mirror, Mirror" includes a CGI version of Enterprise with "ISS" markings on the hull and minor physical differences from USS Enterprise, such as a larger deflector dish, a taller bridge, and altered nacelle details.

Registry: ISS Enterprise (ICC-1701-D)

The Next Generation novel Dark Mirror describes an alternate timeline Enterprise-D staffed by Mirror Universe versions of Captain Picard and his crew.

Alternate reality

The 2009 Star Trek film takes place in an alternate reality created when the Romulan character Nero traveled through time via a black hole. It is also the expected setting of the next film in the series.
Registry: USS Enterprise

Class: Constitution (Star Trek )

Service: 2258—

Captains: Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), Spock (Zachary Quinto), James T. Kirk (Chris Pine)

Measurements for this version's final size range from 610 meters to 910 meters. In an interview in Cinefex magazine #118, Industrial Light & Magic Art Director Alex Jaeger discussed the design's growth in size during early production of the film, saying "The reconfigured ship was a larger vessel than previous manifestations – approximately long compared to the ship of the original series. Once we got the ship built and started putting it in environments it felt too small. The shuttle bay gave us a clear relative scale – shuttles initially appeared much bigger than we had imagined – so we bumped up the Enterprise scale, which gave her a grander feel and allowed us to include more detail." A special feature on starships in the Blu-ray Disc (BD) version of the movie gives the length as .

Reception and impact

As the result of a successful letter writing campaign, NASAmarker named the initial flight-test Space Shuttle Enterprise. In 1994, the real aircraft carrier Enterprisemarker hosted a Star Trek convention, and Star Trek memorabilia can be found throughout the ship.


See also

External links

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