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USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)

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USS Enterprise
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), ENT.jpg

USS Enterprise

Class: Constitution-class (later refit)
Registry: NCC-1701
Owner: United Federation of Planets
Operator: Starfleet/UESPA
Status: Destroyed (2285)
USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) assignment patch.png

Assignment patch

For the mirror universe counterpart, please see ISS Enterprise (NCC-1701).
For the Gideon replica, please see USS Enterprise (replica).
"All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by."

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) was a 23rd century Federation Constitution-class starship operated by Starfleet. In the course of her career, the Enterprise became the most celebrated starship of her time.

In her forty years of service and discovery, through upgrades and at least two refits, she took part in numerous first contacts, military engagements, and time-travels. She achieved her most lasting fame from the five-year mission (2265-2270) under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. (Star Trek: The Original Series; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; VOY: "Q2")

The Enterprise was destroyed over the Genesis Planet in 2285 when Kirk activated the ship's auto-destruct sequence to prevent the Enterprise from falling into the hands of the Klingons. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)


See Enterprise history

Early historyEdit

In the early to mid-23rd century, at least twelve heavy cruiser-type starships, the Constitution-class, were commissioned by the Federation Starfleet. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday") The vessel registered NCC-1701, which was constructed in San Francisco, was christened the Enterprise. Larry Marvick was stated to be one of the designers of the Enterprise, (TOS: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?") Dr. Richard Daystrom designed her computer systems, (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer") and Captain Robert April oversaw construction of her components, then commanded her during her trial runs and early missions. Sarah April served as the chief medical officer and designed several tools for the ship's sickbay. (TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident")

Captain Christopher Pike commanded the Enterprise from the early 2250s into the 2260s. His missions included voyages to the Rigel, Vega, and Talos systems. Pike's half-Vulcan science officer, Spock, who served under him for over eleven years, would become the starship's longest-serving officer. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I")

Multiple production sources, including an unseen display screen intended for use in "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", the Star Trek Encyclopedia, and The Making of Star Trek, give the Enterprise launch date as 2245. Since this date dovetails nicely with Gene Roddenberry's apparent beliefs as well as the conjectural dates of Robert April's captaincy and Larry Marvick's design timeline, fans generally accept it, despite the absence of concrete canonical evidence for it.
According to The Making of Star Trek, the Enterprise was built on Earth but assembled in space. According to a computer display that was created by production staff of Star Trek: Enterprise but never used on screen, Jonathan Archer was present at the launch and died the next day. This information remains non-canon, because it was never photographed on film.
In TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident", it is stated that Sarah April's service on the Enterprise was the first time a medical officer served on a starship equipped with warp drive. However, it is established in Star Trek: Enterprise that warp-capable starships had medical personnel prior to the time of her service.

Kirk's five-year missionEdit

USS Enterprise orbiting Omicron Ceti III, remastered

In orbit, 2267

In 2265, the Enterprise was assigned to a five-year mission of deep-space exploration, and command passed to James T. Kirk. The ship's primary goal during this mission was to seek out and contact alien life. Captain Kirk's standing orders also included the investigation of all quasars and quasar-like phenomena.

Beyond her primary mission, the Enterprise defended Federation territories from aggression, aided member worlds in crisis, and provided scientific expeditions and colonies in her patrol area with annual examinations and support. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", "The Man Trap", "The Cloud Minders", "Journey to Babel", "The Galileo Seven", "The Deadly Years")

Despite 2270 being given as the year Kirk's first five-year mission in command of the Enterprise came to an end (in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Q2"), many production resources – including the booklet for the TOS Season 1 DVD set – continue to use the Star Trek Chronology's date of 2264 as the starting point of the mission. It is possible, however, that the mission ran from 2264 through 2269 and that the Enterprise did not return to Earth until 2270.
According to a line from the original script of Star Trek, but removed from the final draft, the crew of the Enterprise came together in a time of "ultimate crisis", much like their alternate reality counterparts did. [1]


From 2265 to 2270, the Enterprise visited over seventy different worlds and encountered representatives of over sixty different 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, Trelane, and the Organians. Two discovered species were the first known examples of silicon-based lifeforms, the Horta and the Excalbians. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Arena", "By Any Other Name", "The Devil in the Dark", "The Savage Curtain")

USS Enterprise leaving galactic barrier, remastered

In the barrier void in 2265

The Enterprise was the first Federation vessel to survive an encounter with the galactic barrier. The ship's warp drive and other systems, however, were critically damaged and casualties totaled twelve crewmembers and officers. By stardate 4657.5, the Enterprise was traveling through space in a region of space hundreds of light years further than any Earth starship had explored. (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "Return to Tomorrow")

The reality of time travel, externally influenced, had been known for over a century, but following two accidental temporal displacements, the Enterprise became the Federation's first deliberately-controlled timeship. Observing the death-throes of Psi 2000, the crew suffered from polywater intoxication and the Enterprise nearly lost orbit after an engine shutdown. A previously untested "cold start", 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. (TOS: "The Naked Time")

USS Enterprise in orbit of Earth

Orbiting 1960s Earth

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, the Enterprise was ordered to repeat the recently-proven slingshot effect, and returned to Earth's past on a mission of historical observation. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday", "Assignment: Earth")

Originally, "The Naked Time" and "Tomorrow is Yesterday" were planned to be back-to-back stories, with the events in "Tomorrow is Yesterday" happening as a result of the "cold start" of the warp drive in "The Naked Time". A change in production plans resulted in the two stories being de-linked and slightly reworked to stand alone.
USS Enterprise approaches space amoeba, remastered

The space amoeba in 2268

Some missions of discovery confronted Enterprise with entities and mechanisms that threatened great swaths of Federation and neighboring space.

An ancient "planet killer", fueled by the consumption of planets it destroyed with its antiproton weapon, approached Federation population centers in 2267. It required the combined efforts of the Enterprise and her sister ship, USS Constellation, to destroy it. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")

One year later, a single-cell organism of colossal scale emitted negative energy, toxic to humanoid life, killing the entire Vulcan crew of the USS Intrepid. The Enterprise penetrated the cell interior and destroyed the organism before its imminent cell division threatened to overwhelm the rest of the galaxy. (TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome")


Enterprise firing phaser proximity blast

The Enterprise fires a proximity blast

The nature of her mission of exploration meant that the Enterprise was frequently the only Federation military asset in a little-known, otherwise undefended frontier. When she was called into 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 the colony on Cestus III, a surprise attack from a previously unknown species led to the battle and pursuit of an evenly-matched Gorn starship in 2267. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Arena")

The Enterprise played fox to the hounds of her four sister starships in a war game exercise on stardate 4729.4. Equipped with the new M-5 computer and stripped of most of her crew, the Enterprise became a killing machine – crippling the USS Excalibur and killing her entire crew – before Kirk could re-assert control. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

Klingon engagementsEdit

USS Enterprise-D7 face off

The Battle of Organia in 2267

The warships of the Imperial Klingon Fleet were frequent opponents of the Enterprise. Commander Kor held the Enterprise and Kirk in high professional regard, and relished the prospect of battle. Lower ranks chose to mock the starship; on one such occasion, 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")

While Starfleet rallied its forces at the outbreak of the Federation-Klingon War in 2267, the Enterprise was sent forward to secure a border region anchored by the planet Organia. She destroyed a Klingon attack ship and prepared to engage an approaching Klingon fleet, before the Organian Peace Treaty precluded a full-scale war. (TOS: "Errand of Mercy")

The Enterprise sporadically engaged Klingons throughout her voyage. A warship failed in an attempt to blockade the Enterprise from Capella IV in 2267. Sabotaged during a diplomatic mission to the Tellun system in 2268, the ship successfully fought off the assault of a harassing D7. The same year, the Enterprise was forced to destroy Kang's abandoned battle cruiser and the rescued Klingons (influenced by the Beta XII-A entity) subsequently attempted to wrest control of the Enterprise from Kirk. (TOS: "Friday's Child", "Elaan of Troyius", "Day of the Dove")

Romulan engagementsEdit

Romulan bird-of-prey, CG TOS-aft

Ventral view of a Romulan Bird-of-Prey during the Neutral Zone Incursion of 2266

The Romulan Star Empire reemerged from a century of isolation to antagonize the Federation with the Neutral Zone Incursion of 2266. The Enterprise responded and was victorious against a new Romulan Bird-of-Prey equipped with a cloaking device and plasma torpedo system. (TOS: "Balance of Terror")

In later encounters, the Romulan fleet used strength of numbers in their efforts to overwhelm the Enterprise. When Commodore Stocker took temporary command and violated the Neutral Zone in 2267, up to ten Birds-of-Prey swarmed and pummeled the starship until Kirk's "corbomite" bluff inspired their withdrawal. (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

In 2268, the Enterprise again violated the Neutral Zone – for the purpose of espionage – and was quickly surrounded by three Romulan battle cruisers. She escaped by becoming the first Federation vessel to install and successfully utilize a (stolen) Romulan cloaking device. (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident")

Near Tau Ceti in the following year, Kirk employed the Cochrane deceleration maneuver, allowing the Enterprise to defeat Romulan forces. (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

In the final year of Kirk's original mission, the ship was ambushed by a trio of Romulan battle cruisers while on a routine survey. The Enterprise managed to escape through an energy field that adversely affected the ship's main computer. The malfunctioning systems were corrected by another pass through the field, this time with the Romulan ships in pursuit. The attackers then became incapacitated by the same computer malfunctions, and the Enterprise was able to escape. (TAS: "The Practical Joker")


Service aboard the Enterprise proved to be hazardous duty. At least fifty-eight officers and crew were killed between 2265 and 2269 – 13.5% of the standard complement of 430. Nine crew members were killed when the Enterprise encountered the galactic barrier in 2265. Gary Mitchell and Elizabeth Dehner later died on Delta Vega. (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")

Two of the seven crewmembers assigned to study Murasaki 312 on the shuttlecraft GalileoLatimer and Gaetano – both met an unfortunate end by the hand of a large creature on the planet Taurus II. (TOS: "The Galileo Seven")

In 2267, Enterprise security officers Hendorff, Kaplan, Mallory, and Marple were all killed horribly on the planet Gamma Trianguli VI. (TOS: "The Apple") Further incidents with multiple fatalities included four security guards killed by Nomad in 2267 as well as five security guards killed by the dikironium cloud creature on Argus X in 2268. An outbreak of Rigelian fever, in 2269, killed three crewmen and imperiled the rest until a source of ryetalyn could be obtained. (TOS: "The Changeling", "Obsession", "Requiem for Methuselah") As well, two Enterprise security officers were beamed out into open space while the ship was under the control of Gorgan. (TOS: "And the Children Shall Lead") Lieutenant Galloway was vaporized by Captain Tracey on Omega IV, (TOS: "The Omega Glory") but later was somehow resurrected. (TOS: "Turnabout Intruder") Yeoman Thompson was reduced to a dry cuboctahedron solid. She was killed when the Kelvan Rojan crushed the object in his hand. (TOS: "By Any Other Name")

In the mid-2270s, Commander Sonak and an Enterprise officer were killed in a transporter accident while beaming up to the ship. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

See also: Redshirt

Refits and further serviceEdit

USS Enterprise, The Cage (remastered)

USS Enterprise in 2254

The Enterprise's first documented refit occurred sometime between 2254 and 2265. Minor changes were made to the ship's exterior (most notably the impulse engines, warp nacelles, running lights, and hull markings). More substantial changes were made to the interior color scheme and layout of the ship.

A second, more extensive refit occurred at some point after her encounter with the "galactic barrier" in 2265. It involved replacing the bridge module, a newer, smaller deflector dish, and refinements to her warp nacelles. The ship's interior was also upgraded. The new bridge module included consoles with triangular and circular resin buttons as well as white-colored rocker flip switches. There was another small refit sometime in early 2266 too. The white-colored rocker flip switches seen on bridge consoles and on various places on the ship were replaced with multi-colored rocker flip switches.

In the late 2260s, a new bridge module added a second turbolift, and the design moved toward a completely smooth circular configuration, both standard features on future starships. At the same time the translucent overhead dome was obscured, not to return until the Galaxy-class bridge. (TAS: "Beyond the Farthest Star")

At the end of her five-year mission, the Enterprise returned to Earth in 2270. Following her success, the ship 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, previously used on the assignment patch for the USS Kelvin. (Star Trek)

The stalwart vessel herself was by then twenty-five years old and returning from a deployment that included an unprecedented number of warp-speed records, hull-pounding battles, and frame-stressing maneuvers.

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) in spacedock

In spacedock, 2270s

System upgrades with new technologies after long deployments were far from unusual in her history, but the Enterprise's overhaul of the early 2270s became a nearly 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, and heavier, warp engine nacelles atop swept-back pylons and integrated with the impulse engines. The new drive system allowed for an expanded cargo hold in the secondary hull, linked to the shuttlebay.

Weapons system upgrades included nine dual-phaser banks with power channeled directly from the warp engines. A double photon torpedo/probe launcher was installed atop the secondary hull.

Multiple egress points now included a port-side spacedock hatch, dual ventral space walk 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 the port and starboard sides of the launcher and secondary hulls respectively, and service hatch airlocks on the port and starboard sides of the hangar 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 Kirk's promotion to rear admiral and posting as Chief of Starfleet Operations, his hand-picked successor, Captain Willard Decker oversaw the refit, assisted by Chief engineer Commander Montgomery Scott.

After two-and-a-half years in spacedock for refit, the Enterprise was pressed into service, weeks ahead of schedule, in response to the V'ger crisis, once again under Kirk's command.

USS Enterprise approaches V'Ger's cloud

Making contact with V'ger

Decker was temporarily demoted to commander and posted as executive 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 ruptured the warp field and led to the Enterprise's entry into an unstable wormhole. Commander Decker belayed an order from Admiral Kirk to destroy an asteroid in their path, which had been dragged into the ruptured warp field along with them, with phasers. The refitted phasers now channeled power directly from the main engines at a point beyond the dilithium/magnatomic-initiator stage. Because of this refitted function, the intermix malfunction, and the antimatter imbalance within the warp nacelles that had resulted, caused automatic cutoff of the phasers, a design change of which Kirk had not been aware. Decker ordered the use of photon torpedoes instead; as a backup, they had been designed to draw power from a separate system in case of a major phaser loss. The timely arrival of Commander Spock brought correction to the intermix problem. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Once the V'ger threat was averted, Captain Decker was listed as "missing in action" and the Enterprise remained under Admiral Kirk's command for an interim period. At some point, Kirk passed command on to Captain Spock.

The new designs and components tested and proven aboard the 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)

Final daysEdit

In 2285, the 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.

USS Enterprise exiting the Earth Spacedock

The Enterprise, heavily damaged

The Enterprise was tasked to investigate, and Spock deferred his command to Admiral Kirk. The subsequent engagements with Reliant left the ship badly damaged with cadet and crew deaths, including Captain Spock. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Uss enterprise self destruct

"My God, Bones... what have I done?" - Admiral James T. Kirk

Upon her return to Earth, Starfleet Commander in Chief Admiral Harry Morrow announced that the starship, at that point forty years old, would be decommissioned. When Morrow denied Kirk's wish to return to the Mutara sector, Kirk conspired with his senior officers and stole the Enterprise from Earth Spacedock, in order to recover Spock's body from the Genesis Planet; to bring it, and his katra, possessed by Leonard McCoy, to Vulcan. As part of the plan, Kirk had Scott rig up an automation system to run the Enterprise so easily that "a chimpanzee and two trainees" could have handled her.

Enterprise streaking in Genesis sky

The Enterprise burning in Genesis' atmosphere

At her destination Klingon Commander Kruge's Bird-of-Prey's attack left the Enterprise disabled; Scotty's automation system was not designed for combat and overloaded when the ship was attacked. After setting the auto-destruct sequence, Kirk and his crew abandoned the ship for the surface. Demolition charges in place in the bridge and elsewhere throughout the ship's saucer section exploded, killing the Klingon boarding party. The secondary hull (with what was left of the saucer) fell from orbit and streaked across in the planet's atmosphere. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

There is a difference in the appearance of the Enterprise between Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: in Star Trek III, the ship's external appearance appeared to have deteriorated around some areas damaged by Khan's attacks (and repaired in others), while other areas of the ship that had not been damaged by Khan's attack had battle damage, including the starboard secondary hull, both nacelles, and the top of the saucer. This extra damage was explained in non-canon Star Trek literature as having occurred in spars with Klingon warships between the second and third movies. The aggressive move to attack the Enterprise was explained by the secrecy of the Genesis Planet and the overall uneasiness it created. This could also explain the Klingon aggressiveness displayed throughout the third movie. [2]


There will be no tribble at all

The crew of the USS Enterprise enjoy a jovial moment

Commanding officersEdit

In 2267, just months apart, two commodores also temporarily assumed command of the Enterprise after the relief of both the captain and first officer. These were:

Command crew under Kirk's commandEdit

Appendices Edit

Appearances Edit

Background informationEdit


The CGI Enterprise from the "remastered" opening credits

Sickbay painting

The Enterprise on a painting aboard the Enterprise-D

External linksEdit

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