Star Trek: The Enterprise Explained for Every Version

The USS Enterprise has a storied history, and each version of the classic Star Trek ship has its own unique look.

The USS Enterprise is the flagship of the Federation, but every version of Star Trek's iconic spacecraft needs some explanation. Home to some of the most exciting adventures in the Star Trek franchise's illustrious history, the Enterprise is also one of the most recognizable ships in the history of science fiction, though it's come a long way since its debut in Star Trek: The Originals Variation series. Overall maintaining its iconic flying saucer and nacelle look, the specifications of each version of the Enterprise grew and changed with each major refit - nonetheless, no matter what era it flew in, it remained the flagship of the Federation. ^The Enterprise first appeared in the Star Trek: The Original series, but was already a veteran of the Federation fleet by the time Captain Kirk and his crew embarked on their first five-year mission. Starfleet's history is inextricably linked to Enterprise, and every show makes it clear that she's at the top. Dating back to the events of Star Trek: Enterprise, the titular ship was the first in the prequel series to attempt deep space exploration, but a few small clues suggest In fact, the Enterprise has been a part of space travel long before Captain Archer first donned his livery.

Apart from the actual space shuttle launched by NASA in 1977, the oldest known spaceship named after the Enterprise was briefly hinted at in Star Trek: Enterprise. In Star Trek: Enterprise season 2, episode 24, "First Flight," a drawing of the USS Enterprise XCV 330 shows it as a probe-like vessel with a long tubular body surrounded by a massive orbit ring. Far from being the most powerful Starfleet ship, the XCV 330 is primitive in design even by Enterprise-era standards, and little canon is revealed about the ship's specifications or history.

Pre-Federation Enterprises (Star Trek: Enterprise)

The USS Enterprise NX-01 was launched in 2150 and was captained by Jonathan Archer until 2161, the setting for the Star Trek: Enterprise series. The hull of the NX-01 consisted of a large saucer-shaped section that tapered into two saucer-aligned nacelles, giving the ship a sleeker profile than the later Enterprise. NX-01 helped Captain Archer make important first contact during his tenure A leader of its era, it was the first Earth starship capable of reaching the fifth meridian, which came in handy during the formation of the Federation of Planets.

Enterprise NX-01 was sunk after the formation of the United Planetary Federation, as it was seriously behind the times compared to the advanced technology of the Vulcans. As such, the Enterprise name remained dormant until the birth of a Constitution-class starship launched by the USS Enterprise NCC-1701 in 2245. First captained by Robert April and Christopher Pike, NCC-1701's true glory days came under Captain James T. Kirk during the events of Star Trek: The Original Series and Star Trek: The Animated Series. command. Kirk's two five-year missions between 2265 and 2280 are legendary.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (Star Trek: The Original Series - Star Trek III: The Search For Spock)

The Enterprise NCC-1701 was much larger than its predecessor, the NX-01, and also featured a massive saucer section and nacelle, but had a subhull positioned below the saucer to reduce aerodynamics. Various refits have been made throughout its life, updating the ship's appearance, and in the first Star Trek movie, the Enterprise has Updated interior. After Kirk, two other captains became captains of Enterprise 1701: Spock and the short-term Willard Decker. However, Kirk's ship in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock eventually self-destructed, bringing a fitting end to her 40-year service.

After Enterprise NCC-1701 was completely destroyed in Star Trek: The Search for Spock, Kirk was "degraded" back to captain and was given a brand new Enterprise NCC-1701-A in 2286. The exact same NCC-1701-A still has technical issues with its predecessor's appearance and technical specifications, as seen during the events of Star Trek V: The Last Frontier. Kirk was the only captain of the ship during its seven-year service, and with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country serving as the finale of Star Trek: The Original Series, it only made sense for the ship to be decommissioned at the time.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home - Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

NCC-1701 and 1701-A were top of the line during their tenure, but the appearance of the Lean-class starship in Star Trek: The Search for Spock shows that the Constitution-class has become the dinosaur of Starfleet. In Star Trek: Generations, USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B was launched in the new Excelsior class in 2293, captained by John Harriman. The boat's saucer-shaped section was flattened, while the neck between the two hulls was removed for a streamlined look. Much of NCC-1701-B's history is recorded in non-canonical tales, but her impressive 36-year service almost surpassed the length of the original NCC-1701.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B (Star Trek: Generations)

Despite appearing only in Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 3, Episode 15, "Yesterday's Enterprise", NCC-1701-C remains one of the ship's most important incarnations. Associated with the alternate reality timeline of Tasha Yar, NCC-1701-C was destroyed in 2344 while defending the Klingon outpost Narendra III from a Romulan attack. It was an Ambassador-class ship that replaced the streamlined appearance of the NCC-1701-B with a longer neck, while the tubular subhull of the NCC-1701-C was reminiscent of its predecessor. While little is known about the ship, its service played an integral role in the Federation's alliance with the Klingons.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

With each subsequent redesign, the Enterprise grew in size, with the USS Enterprise 1701-D joining Starfleet as the largest ship ever built, dwarfing it The familiar classic NCC-1701 model. The first of Starfleet's many ships as part of the impressive Galactic class, the Enterprise-D was the backdrop for the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation and entered service in 2363. Captained only by Jean-Luc Picard during its eight years in deep space, Enterprise-D's enhancements made her a TNG character, and her impressive firepower made her a true force in the galaxy.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Equipped with a detachable saucer section, the saucer's elliptical design contrasted with the round design of previous ships, and the subhull abandoned its tubular structure in favor of a flattened, broad appearance. She was ultimately destroyed during the events of Star Trek: Generations, but she had more important events in her tenure of less than a decade than many previous ventures combined. After decades of minor roles in the Star Trek universe following Captain Kirk's departure, the tenure of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and NCC-1701-D helped firmly re-establish the Enterprise as the true flagship of Starfleet.

While previous starship classes lasted for several generations, post-TNG upgrades Era has a new class every few years. To replace the Enterprise D after Star Trek: Generations, the Monarch Enterprise NCC-1701-E entered service in 2372 under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Sent back in time to defeat the Borg during the events of Star Trek: First Contact, the Enterprise-E minimizes the lower hull and aligns the nacelle with the saucer, creating a narrow body that matches the belligerent tone of post-TNG Star Trek . The fate of Enterprise-E is yet to be revealed, but her contribution to the Dominion War is well known in unofficial media.

USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E (Star Trek: First Contact - Star Trek: Nemesis)

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