Starship Enterprise

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USS Enterprise
First appearance Star Trek, September 8, 1966
Affiliation United Federation of Planets Starfleet

The Enterprise or USS Enterprise (often referred to as the "starship Enterprise") is the name of several fictional spacecraft, some of which are the main setting for various television series and films in the Star Trek science fiction franchise.

Development[edit]

According to The Star Trek Encyclopedia, the registry number "NCC-1701" was devised by Matt Jefferies, art director of the first Star Trek series, inspired by an old science fiction cover that Gene Roddenberry liked, with a starship flying through space. Jefferies, who was 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" because he thought it looked better.[1]

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

In an interview with the BBC, Jefferies explained that NC was a U.S. designation for commercial vehicles. The Russians used CC CC. He concluded that as common opinion was that any future major space projects would be a combined effort, he would use a combined designation NCC. The 1701 had two functions, it represented the first (01) ship of a 17th federation cruiser design, and that the digits were unlikely to be misread, unlike 6, 8, or 9.[2]

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[edit]

Ralph McQuarrie's redesigned Enterprise from 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.

Depiction[edit]

Pre-Federation era[edit]

Three spaceships with the name Enterprise predate the United Federation of Planets.

OV-101

Registry: Enterprise (OV-101)
Class: Space Transportation System
Service: February 15, 1977 through April 27, 2012 (35 Years)
Commander: Fred Haise, Joe Engle

The space shuttle Enterprise appears in Star Trek: The Motion Picture among a series of illustrations depicting ships named Enterprise. While this is the only real aerospace craft ever to be actually named Enterprise, it was retroactively entered into the Star Trek continuity. In real life the originally selected name for the orbiter was Constitution but was instead named Enterprise due to Star Trek fans and the personal intervention of President Gerald Ford.

XCV 330

Registry: USS Enterprise (XCV 330)
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.[3] Its length is given as 300 metres (980 ft), and it has a capacity of 100 crew and 850 passengers.[3] The Star Trek Maps by New Eye Photography Editors, also published in 1979, listed this ship as a Fusion drive probe that was Earth's first attempt to explore another star system. The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, published in 1980, describes the ship as "the very first starship U.S.S. Enterprise".[4] A painting of this ship hangs on the wall of Earth's 602 Club in flashbacks from the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "First Flight". A model of the XCV 330 is on display in Admiral Alexander Marcus' office in Star Trek Into Darkness.[5]

NX-01

Registry: Enterprise (NX-01)
Class: NX
Service: 2151–2161 (10 Years)
Captain: Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula), alternate timeline - T'Pol (Jolene Blalock)

The United Earth Starfleet's Enterprise is the main setting of Star Trek: Enterprise (2001–2005).

The Original Series era[edit]

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

NCC-1701

Registry: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
Class: Constitution
Service: 2245–2285 (40 Years)
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).[6] Having undergone an extensive rebuilding and refitting, the Enterprise then 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).[6]

NCC-1701-A

Registry: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A)
Class: Constitution refit
Service: 2286–2293 (7 Years)
Captain: James T. Kirk (William Shatner)
This ship first appears at the conclusion of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) and is the main setting in the subsequent Star Trek movies which use the original crew. The ship is ordered decommissioned at the end of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.[6] Paperwork included with the model kit indicated the ship was mothballed at the Memory Alpha ship museum. Outside other Star Trek book canon, the Shatnerverse novel The Ashes of Eden (1996) depicts the Enterprise-A's removal from the mothball fleet before being destroyed defending the planet Chal.


The Next Generation era[edit]

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

NCC-1701-B

Registry: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-B)
Class: Excelsior refit[7]
Service: 2293–2329 (36 Years)
Captains: John Harriman (Alan Ruck), Demora Sulu (Jacqueline Kim), William George and Thomas Johnson Jr.
Launched at the start of Star Trek Generations (1994).[1] James T. Kirk is missing, presumed killed, after the ship encounters the Nexus energy ribbon on its maiden voyage.[1] According to Star Trek novels, Demora Sulu becomes captain after Harriman. William George, Demora Sulu, and Thomas Johnson Jr. are listed as the official captains in various licensed guides such as the Haynes Enterprise Manual.

NCC-1701-C

Registry: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-C)
Class: Ambassador
Service: 2332[8] – 2344 (12 Years)
Captains: Rachel Garrett (Tricia O'Neil), Richard Castillo (Christopher McDonald)
This ship appears in the Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise" (1990).[1] It was destroyed attempting to defend the Klingon outpost Narendra III from Romulan attack.[1] 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.[1] The actions of the Enterprise-C's crew became a catalyst for the alliance between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.[1]

NCC-1701-D

Registry: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)
Class: Galaxy
Service: 2363–2371 (8 Years)
Captains: Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Edward Jellico (Ronny Cox)
The main setting of Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987–1994).[1] During Star Trek Generations, 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 exploding engineering hull threw it out of control, and caused it to crash land on Veridian III.[1]

NCC-1701-E

Registry: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E)
Class: Sovereign
Service: 2372 – Active (as of 2387) (15+ Years)
Captain: Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart)
The main setting for the films Star Trek: First Contact (1996), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) and Star Trek Nemesis (2002).[1][9]

Alternate timelines[edit]

Alternate future[edit]

NCC-1701-D Refit

Registry: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D)
Class: Galaxy refit (also known as the "Galaxy II", "Galaxy-X", and "Dreadnought Cruiser")
Service: circa 2395
Captain: Admiral William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes)
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 not crashed during the events of Star Trek Generations, and instead had been made Admiral William T. Riker's personal flagship. The ship has a third nacelle, cloaking ability, a spinal phaser lance, and large phaser cannons on the saucer section.

NCC-1701-F

Registry: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-F)
Class: Odyssey
Service: 2409 – ongoing
Captain: Va'Kel Shon
One version of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-F) appears in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Trek Online. Its design is based on the entry submitted by Adam Ihle for the 2011 "Design the next Enterprise" contest, a joint venture between Cryptic Studios, CBS, and Intel, which ran shortly before the game went "free to play." The Enterprise-F made its first appearance in the mission "Boldly They Rode", at the point where the USS Enterprise-F appears to help the player defeat the Dominion fleet surrounding Deep Space Nine

NCC-1701-J

Registry: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-J)
Class: Universe
Service: 26th century
Captain(s): Unknown
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 a possible timeline during the 26th century. In this timeline, the Enterprise-J participated in the Battle of Procyon V, a climactic battle in which the Federation successfully drove the invasive trans-dimensional beings known as the Sphere Builders back into their own realm. The ship's crew included a descendant of the Xindi scientist Degra.[10]

Mirror universe[edit]

The Mirror Universe first appeared in the original series as an alternate reality where the militaristic Terran Empire exists in place of the regular universe's United Federation of Planets ("Mirror, Mirror"). 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.

Registry: ISS Enterprise (NX-01)
Class: NX
Service: 2150s
Captains: Maximilian Forrest (Vaughn Armstrong), Jonathan Archer (Scott Bakula)
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.

Registry: ISS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
Class: Constitution
Service: 2260s
Captains: Christopher Pike, James T. Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy)
A Mirror Universe Enterprise appears in the original Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror".[6] The ship is equipped with an agony booth and the mirror in the captain's quarters conceals Captain Kirk's deadly Tantalus device.[6] The ISS Enterprise was originally the same shooting model as the regular Enterprise.[6] 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.[11]

Altered reality timeline[edit]

The 2009 Star Trek film takes place in a new reality created when the Romulan character Nero traveled through time via an artificial black hole.

NCC-1701

Registry: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
Class: Constitution
Service: 2258 – ongoing
Captains: Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood), Spock (Zachary Quinto), James T. Kirk (Chris Pine)

The Enterprise is shown during its construction phase at the Riverside Shipyard in Iowa during the movie. A brief shot of the NCC-1701 is seen as the shuttlecraft carrying Kirk and the new recruits into space departs the shipyard.

Measurements for this version's final size range from 610 meters to 910 meters.[12][13][14][15] In an interview in Cinefex magazine No. 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 1,200 feet (370 m) long compared to the 947 foot (289 m) 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 2,379 feet (725 m), which would make it larger than the Next Generation D and E versions, in fact it would be the largest USS Enterprise in the series history. (Not counting the XCV 330, which is only seen as a model). This would result in a height of 167m, and a beam of 339m.

Captain's yacht[edit]

The captain's yacht is a large auxiliary starship built into the design of several Federation starship designs including the Galaxy-class and Sovereign-class. It was docked to the underside of the saucer section. On the USS Enterprise-E, the name of the captain's yacht is the Cousteau. In 2375, the crew of the USS Enterprise-E used the Cousteau to travel to the surface of the Ba'ku homeworld.

Designer Andrew Probert came up with the concept of the captain's yacht while designing the USS Enterprise-D. Although it was never seen in use, it is labeled on the master systems display screen in main engineering, docked at the bottom of the saucer section almost directly opposite the main bridge. Probert suggested possible ways for the yacht to be used during the first season, including not showing the yacht but mentioning it in dialogue, but his ideas were rejected. The Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual (page 164) claims that the producers almost used the yacht in TNG: "Samaritan Snare", but decided to use an "executive shuttlecraft" due to budgetary constraints. According to Patrick Stewart, the yacht would have been called the Calypso. Rick Sternbach designed similar craft into the USS Voyager and the USS Equinox, known as the aeroshuttle and the waverider, respectively. As on the Enterprise-D, however, these vessels were only depicted on technical schematics and never seen in operation or referred to in dialog.

Ronald B. Moore notes in the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual that real-life naval tradition would insist on calling such a craft the captain's gig rather than the captain's yacht.

Reception and impact[edit]

Space Shuttle Enterprise

As the result of a successful letter writing campaign, NASA named the initial flight-test Space Shuttle Enterprise.[1] In 1994, the real aircraft carrier Enterprise hosted a Star Trek convention, and Star Trek memorabilia could be found throughout the ship.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Okuda, Michael; Denise Okuda and Debbie Mirek (1999). The Star Trek Encyclopedia. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-53609-5. 
  2. ^ "BBC Online - Cult - Star Trek - Matt Jefferies - Why NCC-1701?". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved August 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Goldstein, Stan; Fred Goldstein and Rick Sternbach (1980). Star Trek, Spaceflight Chronology: The Human Adventure Beyond Our World—from the First Small Steps to the Voyage of the New U.S.S. Enterprise in the Twenty-Third Century. New York: Pocket Books. p. 112. 
  4. ^ Sackett, Susan; Gene Roddenberry (March 1980). The Making of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Wallaby Books. ISBN 0-671-79109-5. 
  5. ^ Leadbeater, Alex (2013-05-23). "Star Trek Into Darkness: 10 Things You Might Have Missed - 8. Admiral Marcus’ Starships Desk". WhatCulture!. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Asherman, Alan (May 1, 1993). The Star Trek Compendium. ISBN 978-0-671-79612-9. 
  7. ^ "Enterprise-B, U.S.S.". CBS Paramount. Retrieved May 20, 2009. "An upgrade of the Excelsior-class" 
  8. ^ Bick, Ilsa J. (November 2003). Star Trek: The Lost Era: Well of Souls. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-7434-6375-7. 
  9. ^ "U.S.S. Enterprise-E". Viacom. Retrieved February 13, 2009. 
  10. ^ Star Trek Azati Prime
  11. ^ Sternbach, Rick (November 16, 2006). "Review of Mirror Mirror Remastered". TrekMovie.com. 
  12. ^ McGorry, Ken (May 1, 2009). "Cover Story: 'Star Trek' Returns". Post magazine. "The Enterprise is 3,000 feet (910 m) long but bad guy Eric Bana's ship is designed to appear a humongous five miles long."  (Quote from Russell Earl, co-VFX supervisor for ILM.)
  13. ^ Robertson, Barbara (May 13, 2009). "Reinventing Star Trek's VFX". Film & Video. "The Narada was six miles long and the Enterprise is 2,000 feet (610 m)."  (Quote from Bruce Holcomb, Digital Model Supervisor for Star Trek.)
  14. ^ Dunlop, Renee (May 26, 2009). "Star Trek: Production Focus". CCGSociety. "One challenge was to sell the weight and scale of the ships that ranged from a 30 foot shuttle to the new Enterprise at 2,357 feet (718 m) long, to the nemesis ship, the Narada, five miles long."  (Source Russell Earl & Roger Guyett, co-VFX Supervisors at ILM.)
  15. ^ "Experience the Enterprise". Paramount Pictures & CBS Studios Inc. "Length: 2,500 feet (760 m)." 
  16. ^ DENNIS JOYCE, STAFF WRITER (October 28, 1994). "CARRIER ENTERPRISE MEETS STARSHIPS ENTERPRISE \ STAR TREK FANS PLAN TO BOLDLY GO ABOARD THE NAVY SHIP FOR CONVENTION TOUR". The Virginian-Pilot Archives. PilotOnline.com. Retrieved 14 May 2012. 

External links[edit]

Spacecraft named Enterprise
NASA Space Shuttle (1976–1985)Virgin Space Ship (2009—)Star Trek starships (Fictional)