The United Star Ship Enterprise is a space ship in the fictional Star Trek, a science-fiction setting.
The USS Enterprise was once referred to as the "United Space Ship Enterprise", but ever since has always been "United Star Ship". Since Starfleet is unrelated to the United States armed forces any similarity between this awkward phrase and the American warship prefix "United States Ship" are coincidental.
In honor of Star Trek, a real space shuttle was also named Enterprise by NASA.
Warning: Spoilers follow
Not only the name, but also the associated hull number ("NCC-1701," with an appended serial letter after the first one) has been bestowed upon different fictional ships at different times:
- NX-01: (commissioned 2151) The ship of Jonathan Archer in the series Enterprise.
- NCC-1701: (commissioned 2245) Constitution Class, the ship of Kirk, Spock et al. in the original NBC TV series Star Trek. It is established in the 1979 movie Star Trek: The Motion Picture that this vessel has been out of commission for some time, undergoing an extensive rebuild and upgrade while in drydock orbiting Earth under the command of Willard Decker.
- While never seen on film, it is generally accepted that the first commanding officer of the Constitution-class Enterprise was Robert April. Christopher Pike was seen as commanding officer of the Enterprise for at least one, and possibly two, five-year missions of the ship before Kirk's fabled voyages.
- In Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan, Khan Noonien Singh stole the USS Reliant and used her to disable the Enterprise. Kirk employed a strategy to equally disable the Reliant. Khan planned to use a weapon called Genesis to destroy the Reliant and the Enterprise, but the Enterprise and her crew were able to survive, partly due to the self-sacrifice of Mr. Spock.
- In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Starfleet decided to scrap the ship, thinking that the age of the ship wouldn't make a repair worthwhile. Nevertheless, the command crew stole the ship and took it to the Genesis planet, to bring Spock's body back to Vulcan. At the Genesis planet, the Enterprise was beaten by a Klingon crew under the command of Capt. Kruge. Despite being able to inflict some damage on the Klingons, the control systems began to fail, and a torpedo from the Klingons disabled them completely. Faced with being captured by a Klingon boarding party or being killed, Kirk set the ship to self-destruct. The primary hull was blown apart, and the secondary hull fell into the Genesis planet's atmosphere and was incinerated.
- NCC-1701-A: (commissioned 2286) Constitution Class, James Kirk, Spock et al. get a new ship in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, and use it for the next two films. It is rumoured that the ship was originally the USS Yorktown NCC-1704, and was rechristened to Enterprise NCC-1701-A after the Probe incident in Star Trek IV. However, the only basis for this was a comment by series creator Gene Roddenberry, and no solid evidence has ever been provided about the ship's history prior to that film.
- In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier the ship was dispatched on a mission to rescue hostages, despite being not operational. It was then hijacked by the Vulcan renegade Sybok, who took the ship to a mysterious planet, where God was supposedly found. After a short while there, the crew were caught off-guard by some Klingons, and they caused minor damage before being called off.(Roddenberry is rumored to have declared Star Trek V noncanon.)
- In the next film, Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, the ship encountered a Klingon ship that could fire while cloaked (this had been previously impossible). It suffered major structural damage before being able to track and destroy the Klingons. This damage, combined with the age of the design caused it to be scrapped thereafter.
- NCC-1701-B: (commissioned 2293) similar in design to the USS Excelsior with a few slight differences; appears only in the film Star Trek: Generations. Its captain was John Harriman at the time of launch. Otherwise, nothing is known about this ship.
- NCC-1701-C: (commissioned unknown) Ambassador Class, appears only in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Yesterday's Enterprise", with Captain Rachel Garrett in command.
- The ship responded to a Klingon distress call, and went to assist an outpost under attack by the Romulans. Unfortunately, the ship was grossly outmatched, but was destroyed while trying to defend the outpost. This act of self-sacrifice solidified faltering relations between the Federation and Klingon Empire.
- NCC-1701-D: (commissioned 2363) Galaxy Class, the ship of Picard, Riker et al. in the series Star Trek: The Next Generation and the film Star Trek: Generations.
- In Star Trek: Generations, the Duras sisters found a way to render the Enterprise's shields useless. Though the Enterprise succeeded in destroying the Klingons, the warp core's coolant system failed as a result of damage sustained during the battle. The saucer section managed to separate, but didn't clear the explosion radius fast enough, and its impulse engines were destroyed as a result. The out of control saucer crash-landed on the nearby planet, and was damaged beyond repair.
- NCC-1701-E: (commissioned 2372) Sovereign Class, Picard's and Riker's ship in Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek: Nemesis. It was launched on stardate 49827.5 from San Francisco Shipyards. It first appeared in Star Trek: First Contact
List of Captains of the Enterprise
- Jonathan Archer (NX-01, at time of launch)
- Robert April (NCC-1701)
- Christopher Pike (NCC-1701, in the pilot episode, The Cage)
- James T. Kirk (NCC-1701, in the Original Series and Star Treks I-III, later NCC-1701-A in Star Treks IV-VI)
- Willard Decker (NCC-1701, during refit period)
- Spock (NCC-1701, during period as Starfleet Academy training ship)
- John Harriman (NCC-1701-B, at time of launch)
- Rachel Garrett (NCC-1701-C, at time of destruction)
- Jean-Luc Picard (NCC-1701-D, whole lifespan, then NCC-1701-E)
- William Riker (NCC-1701-D, during Borg Crisis)
- Edward Jellico (NCC-1701-D, during Cardassian negotiations)