Externally, the Enterprise-A was virtually identical to the refit USS Enterprise, destroyed several months prior to the launch.
The bridge was in its customary location on Deck 1. At least three different models were used during the ship's service.
The bridge was located on Deck 1, at the very top of the saucer section. The large viewscreen could project different views from cameras scattered on the saucer section of the ship. The Enterprise could also show tactical views and alerts on the screen along with hails. There were two turbo lifts.
The torpedo bay was on Deck 13. It was much more automated than on the previous Enterprise, and the torpedo room itself was smaller and enclosed.
The shuttlebay was located at the rear of the ship's engineering section. Unlike her predecessor, the shuttlebay of the Enterprise-A was a separate and distinct area from the cargo bay. The ship had at least two (possibly five) shuttlecraft, including the Galileo and the Copernicus. Normally, a tractor beam guided the shuttle to a landing. A large net barricade could be erected to capture an incoming shuttle which was landing too fast or otherwise disabled. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
Officers had crew quarters similar to those on the previous Enterprise. Enlisted crew members were required to bunk together. As many as eight crew members were assigned to a room, each assigned a storage locker. Chimes sounded at the top of every hour. Meals were prepared in a galley, although there appeared to be primitive replicators on board the ship.
The Enterprise-A had a vertical warp core similar to that of the Galaxy-class of eighty years later. The core could be accessed through main engineering on Deck 15. An isolation door could be brought down to separate the core from the rest of the ship. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
There was a crew lounge at the front of the ship which contained several maritime relics, including a steering wheel from a sailing vessel inscribed with the ship's motto, "to boldly go where no man has gone before." An emergency transmitter was also located in the lounge. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
The officers had a private dining hall in the saucer section, which was often used to entertain guests. There were several paintings in the room (including a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, a personal hero of James T. Kirk). (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
The brig was located in the bowels of the engineering hull. It was designed to be escape-proof, certified so by Captain Spock. The turbolift shafts were triangular in shape. In addition to the normal corridors, there were full-height Jefferies tubes in the engineering hull. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
In 2286, the Enterprise-A was commissioned at the San Francisco Fleet Yards on stardate 8442.5. She was launched from the Earth Spacedock 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 the USS Excelsior (or, according to Leonard McCoy, a "freighter" at best), but the new Enterprise was soon revealed, docked behind 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 her warp drive was working perfectly, half the doors on the ship were malfunctioning and several control interfaces did not work. The transporter was also nonfunctional, requiring shuttles to be used for off-ship missions.
Before the repairs were complete, the Enterprise was called into duty in order to intervene in a kidnapping situation on Nimbus III. The ship was subsequently commandeered by the rogue Vulcan Sybok, who ordered her to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, in order to pursue the mythical Sha Ka Ree. During the return of Sybok to the ship aboard the Galileo, Commander Hikaru Sulu was forced to crash the shuttle into the Enterprise landing bay, as the ship was pursued by a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, commanded by Klaa, and there was no time to use the tractor beam for a safe entrance. The Bird-of-Prey followed the Enterprise to the center of the galaxy.
The crew was too involved with Sybok's visit to the planetoid found there and did not notice the Klingon vessel enter sensor range. The Bird-of-Prey caught the Enterprise off-guard and disabled her before she had a chance to retaliate. 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 control and the discovery that Sha Ka Ree was a myth. The brig was also damaged during the mission, as Captain Scott blew a hole in the back wall to free Captain Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
Starfleet began a fleet-wide research project into the investigation of gaseous planetary anomalies in the early 2290s. The Enterprise-A was one of several Federation starships to be outfitted with advanced equipment for their study.
In 2293, the Enterprise-A was due to be retired along with most of her command crew. However, she was pressed back into service for one last mission as an escort for Klingon chancellor Gorkon during the initial stages of the Khitomer Accords. The ship rendezvoused with the Klingon flagship, Kronos One, and was to follow it to Earth. Unfortunately, a joint Starfleet, Klingon, and Romulan conspiracy had an operative, Lieutenant Valeris, aboard the ship. 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 her propulsion and gravity systems. Amid the chaos two space-suited Starfleet crew members, Burke and Samno, beamed aboard, assassinating Gorkon. Valeris altered the ship's records to make it seem as if two torpedoes had been fired. The torpedoes actually came from a cloaked protoype Bird-of-Prey directly below the Enterprise, which had been modified to fire while cloaked.
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 Kirk. The Enterprise was ordered back to Earth, but Spock ignored orders and initiated 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 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 warped to Khitomer in order to prevent a second assassination of the Federation President and the new Klingon chancellor, Azetbur.
General Chang was waiting in orbit with his Bird-of-Prey, however, and the Enterprise was attacked upon arrival. The starship was seriously damaged and suffered a hull breach through her saucer section. The Excelsior, too, was helpless against the cloaked ship. Fortunately, Spock, McCoy, and Uhura devised a plan to use a photon torpedo equipped with sensors capable of tracking ionization from the Bird-of-Prey's impulse engines. It successfully hit Chang's vessel, knocking it out of the cloak and leaving it vulnerable to further torpedo volleys from the Enterprise and the Excelsior. Following the destruction of the Bird-of-Prey, Enterprise and Excelsior crew beamed down to the Khitomer Conference and apprehended the conspirators, preventing the assassination. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
Following the Khitomer mission, the Enterprise was ordered by Starfleet Command to return to spacedock to be decommissioned. In spite of this, Captain Kirk ordered the ship on course to the "second star to the right, ...and straight on 'til morning." Kirk later recorded in his log that the Enterprise and her history "will shortly become the care of another crew." The next USS Enterprise, the Excelsior-class USS Enterprise-B, was launched later that year. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek Generations)
- Commanding officer
- First officer
- Spock (2286 – 2293)
- Chief medical officer
- Leonard McCoy (2286 – 2293)
- Chief engineer
- Montgomery Scott (2286 – 2293)
- Pavel Chekov (2286 – 2293)
- Communications officer
- Uhura (2286 – 2293)
- Science officer
- Spock (2286 – 2293)
Background information Edit
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.
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 now replaced the gauges and dials formerly seen on the ship. Only the portions of the bridge seen on film were modified; the rest of the bridge was left unchanged to save time.
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. 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. Unfortunately, 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 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. This explains why some of the TNG sets were noticeably altered at the start of the fifth season. 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 as well as an Enterprise-D turbolift in "These Are the Voyages...".
While the ship's history before its recommissioning as Enterprise has never been officially stated, several non-canon sources (such as the AMT/Ertl Model kit documentation) have claimed it to formerly be the USS Yorktown (NCC-1717); others cite it as the newly-built (but not yet commissioned) USS Ti-Ho (NCC-1798), or the also newly-built USS Atlantis (NCC-1786). Captain Scott alludes to the ship being newly built in the ship's log of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, stating "This new ship must have been built by monkeys".
Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise, released shortly after Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, cites the origin of NCC-1701-A as the USS Ti-Ho (NCC-1798), a Constitution-class II starship which was a testbed for transwarp technology alongside the USS Excelsior. The Ti-Ho was rechristened Enterprise after Kirk and his crew were exonerated.
- According to the paperwork with the Bandai model kit, the Enterprise-A was mothballed into Memory Alpha's museum fleet. Scotty's comments in Relics would seem to support this.
- In the comic "TNG Special 3", the Enterprise-A was on display at Starbase 122's Starfleet museum in 2369 where it was visited by Montgomery 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, 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.