In the Star Trek fictional universe, the USS Enterprise is the name given to a series of starships. Several of these vessels are considered focal points in the fictional universe created by Gene Roddenberry.
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 phrase and the American warship prefix "United States Ship" is purportedly coincidental. However, the prefix is intended to play off of the affinity that many have for the USS Enterprise series of naval vessels.
In honor of Star Trek, as well as the real vessels, a real space shuttle was also named Enterprise by NASA. To return the favor, a starship in Star Trek: Enterprise was named for the lost Space Shuttle Columbia. The second USS Enterprise aircraft carrier appeared in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Note: The USS Enterprise featured in the movie was actually the USS Ranger (CVA-61). The actual USS Enterprise was out to sea during filming. It is questionable whether the navy would have allowed the filming crew aboard Enterprise had she been available; at the time, the internal arrangements of the US navy's nuclear carrier engineering plants were classified.
Not only the name, but also the associated hull number ("NCC-1701") has been bestowed upon different fictional ships at different times.
List of starships bearing the name
The Starship Enterprises that have been seen in the various Star Trek series and movies to date are as follows.
- Enterprise (NX-01), NX class, seen in Enterprise
- USS Enterprise, (NCC-1701), Starship class/Constitution class, seen in The Original Series and the first three movies, plus the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, "Trials and Tribble-ations."
- USS Enterprise, (NCC-1701-A), Constitution class refit, seen in the fourth–sixth movies
- USS Enterprise, (NCC-1701-B), Excelsior class , seen briefly in Star Trek: Generations (the seventh movie)
- USS Enterprise, (NCC-1701-C), an Ambassador class, seen in the TNG episode "Yesterday's Enterprise"
- USS Enterprise, (NCC-1701-D), Galaxy class, seen in The Next Generation and the film Star Trek: Generations
- USS Enterprise, (NCC-1701-E), Sovereign class, seen in three of the TNG movies (8-10)
- USS Enterprise, (NCC-1701-J), seen briefly in the Enterprise episode "Azati Prime" (possible alternate future).
The existence of an Enterprise-J indicates the existence of an Enterprise-F, -G, -H, and -I at some point in history, however as yet no canonical information has been provided regarding these vessels. Since the future in which the Enterprise-J is depicted in "Azati Prime" is undone by the ending of the Xindi threat and the collapse of the Temporal Cold War, it remains to be seen if the vessel will ever actually exist in any future canon.
An additional spaceship (not necessarily starship) Enterprise is visible in an illustration on display in the recreation room of the NCC-1701 in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It was later shown on a wall in 2143 San Francisco in the Enterprise episode "First Flight", meaning that its top speed was apparently less than warp 2. The ring-shaped design suggests application of Vulcan propulsion technology. The design was based on Matt Jefferies' early designs for the NCC-1701.
List of known captains
- Jonathan Archer (Star Trek: Enterprise- 2151-2161; alternate timeline (episode "Twilight") 2151-2153; Mirror Universe I.S.S. Enterprise, 2155)
- T'Pol (alternate timeline: 2153-2156, Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Twilight")
- Charles "Trip" Tucker III (alternate timeline: 2156-2165, Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Twilight")
- Lorian (alternate timeline: unknown date-2154, episode "E2")
- Maximillian Forrest (Mirror Universe I.S.S. Enterprise c.2151-55, episode "In a Mirror, Darkly")
- Robert April (In the Enterprise Episode "In the Mirror Darkly" as Hoshi reads the information off the Defiant's screen in the Captain's room;If you zoom in on the screen it states that the real Archer "....died at his home in upstate New York in the year 2245, exactly one day after attending the christening ceremony of the first Federation Starship Enterprise under Captain Robert Ap..." it trails off but April's first name was Robert and Ap is the first 2 letters of this Captain's last name, making it canon as of 2005)
- Christopher Pike (Star Trek episode "The Cage")
- James T. Kirk (Star Trek, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
- Willard Decker (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
- Spock (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Crossover" strongly suggests that Spock took command of the Mirror Universe I.S.S. Enterprise from Kirk soon after the events of "Mirror, Mirror". During the events of The Motion Picture, Wrath of Khan and Search for Spock, Kirk commanded Enterprise despite holding the rank of admiral. The existence of a captain prior to Pike is suggested by computer screen data visible in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly Part II" which confirms the NCC-1701 launched in 2245; although a year range for Pike's tenure has never been established, it would suggest that the NCC-1701 was already approximately a decade old at the time of "The Cage", which in turn takes place more than a decade before the episode "The Menagerie" in the original series, leaving time for another captain to serve prior to Pike.
- James T. Kirk (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
Though Kirk was Commanding Officer of the Enterprise-A through the 2280s into the 2290s, Science Officer Spock and Chief Engineer Scott were also of the rank of captain, giving the 1701-A an unusual command structure. However, Spock was still considered First Officer and assumed temporary command as usual in the event Kirk was off-ship, as in Star Trek VI.
Several non-canon sources have also named other captains of the Enterprise-B, however these are not considered official. According to several novels, Harriman was succeeded by Demora Sulu as captain. A poster of the NCC-1701-D also listed one Tomas Johnson Jr. as captain, but no information is offered as to when he might have commanded the vessel. Non-canon sources also suggest that Harriman's command ended shortly after the Tomed Incident of 2311. Sulu assumed command of the Enterprise-B thereafter.
- Rachel Garrett (?-2344, Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Yesterday's Enterprise") – The Enterprise-C was transported 22 years into an alternate future, therefore Garrett actually died in 2366.
- Richard Castillo (2344) – Succeeded Garrett when the Enterprise-C returned to 2344 and is assumed to have died in the ensuing battle with Romulan forces upon the vessel's return to the proper timeline.
- Jean-Luc Picard (entirety of ST:TNG series, barring exceptions below)
- William Riker (during the Borg Crisis, as well as in several alternate timelines and futures)
- Edward Jellico (during Cardassian negotiations)
- Worf During an encounter with the cryogenic Klingon warship T'Ong (TNG episode "Emissary")
- Thomas Halliway (mentioned as being captain – but not seen – during the alternate future depicted in the episode "Tapestry")
- As yet unrevealed. A non-canonical novel (Imzadi by Peter David) featured Data as the captain of the Enterprise-F. However, even in the non-canonical story that future was undone, and the death of Data in Star Trek: Nemesis renders it unlikely any element of this storyline would become canon.
- Another non-canon version of the NCC-1701-F is the USS Enterprise from an on-line episodic series called Star Trek: Delta Fleet that takes place twenty years after the USS Voyager returns from the Delta Quadrant. This Enterprise-F is commanded by Captain Harry Kim (formerly an Ensign on Voyager).
- Captain Archer was transported onboard the Enterprise J to discuss his role in history. The captain of this vessel is not revealed.
- Virgin Galactic V.S.S. Enterprise, proposed first commercial spacecraft, named after the Star Trek vessels.