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Enterprise history

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Enterprise legacy tmp

A series of images of ships named Enterprise, 2270s

"Let's make sure history never forgets the name Enterprise."

- Jean-Luc Picard, 2366

The name Enterprise has a longstanding history as a ship name, starting some time prior to the 18th century and lasting at least into the 26th century.

The legacy of the Enterprise was honored at various places, including:


Pre-Spaceflight history

HMS Enterprize opening credits

HMS Enterprize

The HMS Enterprize was a noted sailing ship of the British Royal Navy. A galleon, she was active sometime between the 16th century and the early 18th century.

The Enterprise was a noted sailing frigate, either of the Royal Navy or of the US Navy. She was active in the late 18th century. (ENT: "United")

A brig from this era, USS Enterprise, was used in a 24th century holodeck program. (Star Trek Generations)

The USS Enterprise (CV-6) was an aircraft carrier that served in World War II. (ENT: "Storm Front") Its successor was the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), which was the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

After CVN-65 was inactviated in December 2012, the US Navy announced that the new carrier CVN-80 would be named Enterprise. [1]

Early spaceships

The first space shuttle was the Enterprise OV-101. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

A space shuttle named Enterprise was known to dock with the International Space Station. Benjamin Sisko later kept a model of this Enterprise with his ISS model. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

It is possible that this shuttle is the same as the OV-101, although in the real world, the OV-101 was originally designed for test flights in the atmosphere and never reached outer space.

An early Warp starship was the USS Enterprise (XCV 330). (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Starfleet starships

The Enterprise (NX-01) was the first warp 5 starship to be launched. The prototype of the Template:ShipClass, it was launched in 2151 and would be decommissioned in 2161. It participated in early First Contact missions, the Xindi incident, and several other missions during its illustrious career under Captain Jonathan Archer. (Star Trek: Enterprise)

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) was a Template:ShipClass starship that served under five captains from 2245 to 2285, including Robert April, Christopher Pike, Willard Decker, and in later years Captain Spock. Its most famous commander, however, was Captain James T. Kirk, whose five-year mission aboard the Enterprise became legendary. (Star Trek: The Original Series; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) was a refit Constitution-class vessel, under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. The ship was launched in 2286, and served during the Khitomer Conference prior to its decommissioning in 2293. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-B) was a variant Template:ShipClass starship launched in 2293. The ship was under the command of Captain John Harriman, and was noted for rescuing 47 El-Aurians from the Nexus. (Star Trek Generations)

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-C) was an Template:ShipClass starship that served in the early-to-mid 24th century. The ship was under the command of Captain Rachel Garrett, and defended a Klingon outpost against four Romulan Warbirds long enough to impress the Klingons and prevent 20 years of war. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) was a Template:ShipClass starship that served from 2363 to 2371 under the command of five captains, most famously Jean-Luc Picard, who commanded the ship for the majority of its years, but also briefly commanded by William T. Riker, Data, Beverly Crusher, and Edward Jellico. The Enterprise-D was the flagship of Starfleet and made first contact with over thirty species. It also participated in the Klingon Civil War and was the first starship to visit another galaxy. (Star Trek: The Next Generation; Star Trek Generations)

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E) was a Template:ShipClass starship launched under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in 2372. The ship participated in the Battle of Sector 001, Captain Picard's insurrection against Starfleet's plan to forcefully re-locate the Ba'ku people, and was badly damaged in the battle against the Reman Warbird Scimitar in the Bassen Rift. (Star Trek: First Contact; Star Trek: Insurrection; Star Trek Nemesis)

Alternate timelines

In an alternate timeline created by the Sphere Builders, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-J) participated in the Battle of Procyon V. (ENT: "Azati Prime")

In the mirror universe, the ISS Enterprise (NX-01) was the flagship of the Terran Starfleet. It was commanded by Captain Maximilian Forrest and was destroyed by Tholians in 2155. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly") The ISS Enterprise was a Defiant-type starship under the commands of Christopher Pike and James T. Kirk. This was the first Terran starship to come in contact with members of our universe. (TOS: "Mirror, Mirror")

In an alternate reality created by Nero in 2233, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) was launched in 2258 under the command of Christopher Pike. The Enterprise was present when the Narada destroyed Vulcan, but under the temporary command of James T. Kirk, the crew was successful in destroying the Narada and preventing Earth from suffering a similar fate during the Battle of Earth. Afterwards, Pike, who was rescued during the battle by Kirk, was promoted to Admiral while Kirk was promoted to Captain and given offical command of the Enterprise. (Star Trek)


Background information

Key ships in real-world history include:


L'Entreprise  (unknown – 1707)  320-ton, 24-gun, sixth-rate frigate – The first known Human ship named Enterprise. She was captured by the British and renamed HMS Enterprize in 1705.

As of 2007, the Royal Navy has had thirteen more ships named Enterprise/Enterprize, of which ten were commissioned and therefore used the prefix "HMS".


As of 2007, the United States Navy has had eight vessels named Enterprise, of which six were commissioned and used the prefix USS (United States Ship).

Continental Navy of the United States
  • USS Enterprise  (1775 – 1777)  70-ton sloop – served on Lake Champlain. (US Navy file)
  • Enterprise  (1776 – 1777)  25-ton schooner – served in Chesapeake Bay. (US Navy file)
US Navy (early)
  • USS Enterprise  (1799 – 1823)  135-ton schooner – defeated the 14-gun Tripolitan corsair Tripoli in 1801. An 1800 refit upgraded her tonnage to 165, and in 1812 she was rerigged as a brig. (US Navy file)
  • USS Enterprise  (1831 – 1844)  194-ton schooner. (US Navy file)
One of these ships was the inspiration for the holographic sailing ship in Star Trek Generations.
Union Army Balloon Corps
  • Enterprise  (1861 – 1862)  small hydrogen-gas balloon – the first balloon in US military service.
US Navy (powered)
  • USS Enterprise  (1877 – 1909)  1375-ton barque-rigged screw sloop-of-war. (US Navy file and pictures)
The first Enterprise known to use the USS prefix while in actual service.
  • Enterprise SP-790  (1917 – 1919)  motorboat – non-commissioned, served in the 2nd Naval District during World War I. (US Navy file}
  • USS Enterprise CV-6  (1938 – 1947)  19,800-ton Yorktown-class aircraft carrier – the most-decorated World War II ship in US service. (US Navy file and pictures)
  • USS Enterprise CVN-65  (1961 – present)  85,600-ton Enterprise-class aircraft carrier – the first nuclear powered carrier, and the second such powered surface ship. (US Navy files A, B, C, D, E, and F) The CVN-65 Enterprise is scheduled for decommissioning in 2013. Originally, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) was planned to be named Enterprise or America before being designated to honor the late President. It is possible that one of the other Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers will be named Enterprise. This ship also notably featured in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).


  • Airship Enterprise  (launched 1933) First production nonrigid airship to bear the name Enterprise, served in an advertising capacity on the east coast of the United States until WWII. Airship registration: N-1A. A second Airship Enterprise served the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in the 1980s.
  • VSS Enterprise  (launch planned for 2011)  Virgin Space Ship, the first of the Virgin Galactic fleet. [2]
While the US ships above fit the Star Trek timeline, this ship does not. It is in fact named after the Star Trek Enterprise, and space ships in Trek's history were much more advanced (DY-100 class) by this time.


In the Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology, the USS Enterprise XCV 330 was stated as being launched in 2123, and as being Declaration-class.

The short story "Iron and Sacrifice" in the anthology Tales from the Captain's Table, describes the Enterprise-B as still being in service beyond 2315.

The Star Trek: The Lost Era novel Well of Souls, notes that the Enterprise-C as being launched in 2332.

In the William Shatner novel The Return, the Defiant class USS Monitor, having been fitted with a transwarp coil taken from a Borg ship to launch an attack on the Borg central node- the equipment responsible for linking the Borg Collective in its group mind-, in honour of the remit and her temporary transfer to Captains Kirk and Picard, is renamed USS Enterprise for the duration of the mission by Captain Lewinski, the Monitor's regular captain, who noted that it was the least he could do for them.

In the alternate future seen in the DS9 book trilogy Millennium, the USS Enterprise-E was destroyed and replaced with the USS Enterprise-F, which Thomas Riker described was like the USS Defiant to the tenth power. The ship was commanded by Jean-Luc Picard, but was given over to William T. Riker after Picard's promotion to admiral. Among Riker's crew were Geordi La Forge, Deanna Troi, Tom Paris, and B'Elanna Torres. However, the new Enterprise was lost with all hands in a horrific battle that saw the destruction of Earth. This timeline was undone thanks to the efforts of Benjamin Sisko and the rest of Deep Space 9's crew. Another Enterprise-F, an Odyssey-class vessel, is featured in Star Trek Online as the new flagship of Starfleet and is commanded by Andorian Captain Va'Kel Shon. (USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-F)#Star Trek Online timeline at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works)

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