Evolution of the Enterprise

Throughout history the name ‘Enterprise’ has been associated with legendary ships, spanning over 600 years.

HMS Enterprize (or HMS Enterprise) was a ship of the British Royal Navy. It was built as a French frigate, originally named L’Entreprize, and was seized by the British in 1705 and rechristened HMS Enterprise. The ship was wrecked in 1707. (Source Memory Beta)

The USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was Earth’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, laid down in 1958, launched and christened in 1960, and commissioned in 1961, by the United States of America .

The Enterprise (OV-101) was a space shuttle commissioned by the United States of America’s NASA space agency in the year 1976, and was the first Earth space vehicle to bear the name Enterprise.



The USS Enterprise (XCV-330), previously the UESP Enterprise (7) and also the SS Enterprise, was the first spacecraft named Enterprise to be designated a starship. The UESP Enterprise was originally built as a Starliner, a manned interstellar probe, by the United Earth Space Probe Agency in the mid-to-late 21st century, as one of Earth’s earliest attempts at interstellar travel. (Source Memory Beta) Images of the ship are seen in Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Enterprise episodes: “First Flight”, “Home”.

Enterprise (NX-01) was the first NX-class starship, launched by the United Earth Starfleet in 2151. The Enterprise was the first ship equipped with the experimental Warp 5 engine. Under the command of Jonathan Archer, the Enterprise played a pivotal role in setting up the groundwork for the creation of the United Federation of Planets.

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) was a Federation Constitution-class starship in service to Starfleet during the 23rd century. Launched in 2245 from the San Francisco Yards orbiting Earth, The Enterprise was first commanded by Captain Robert April, then by Captain Christopher Pike. From 2264 to 2269, Captain James T Kirk was the third in command and the ship achieved legendary status during the five-year mission.

The Enterprise receives a massive refit in 2270, engaged V’Ger in 2273, and self-destructed over the Genesis Planet in 2285. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) the second Federation starship to bear the name. The Enterprise-A was a Constitution-class starship, which was launched in 2286 and was placed under the command of Captain James T Kirk. Captain Kirk commanded the Enterprise-A for seven years, and the ship’s final cruise before being decommissioned was highlighted by the protection the Khitomer conference as the Khitomer Accords were drafted. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-B) was a modified Federation Excelsior-class starship that was in service with Starfleet in the late 23rd century. This was the third Federation starship to be commissioned to bear the name Enterprise. Launched in 2293 from a spacedock orbiting Earth, under the command of Captain John Harriman. The Enterprise’s maiden journey did not go according to plan. Honored guests aboard for the ship’s maiden voyage included Captains James T. Kirk, Montgomery Scott, and Commander Pavel Chekov, along with many journalists. (Star Trek Generations)

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-C) was a Federation Ambassador-class starship that was in service with Starfleet in the mid-24th century. This was the fourth Federation starship to be commissioned to bear the name Enterprise.  In 2344, the Enterprise-C was under the command of Captain Rachel Garrett. The Enterprise-C was lost and presumed destroyed near Narendra III, when responding to a distress call from the Klingon outpost. When the Enterprise arrived at the outpost, she was engaged by four Romulan Warbirds. (TNG “Yesterday’s Enterprise”)

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) was a Federation Galaxy-class starship that was in service with Starfleet in the late 24th century. This was the fifth Federation starship to bear the name Enterprise. Launched in 2363 from Starfleet’s Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards orbiting Mars and placed under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. During her career, the Enterprise served as the Federation flagship. The Enterprise was destroyed during the Battle of Veridian III in 2371. (Star Trek Generations)

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E) was a Federation Sovereign-class starship that was in service with Starfleet in the late 24th century. She was the sixth Federation starship to bear the name Enterprise. launched in 2372 from the San Francisco Yards orbiting Earth and placed under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Under his command, the Enterprise was a participant in defeating the Borg in 2373 and disrupting the plans of the Son’a in 2375. (Star Trek First Contact, Star Trek Insurrection)

Following the Scimitar incident in 2379, the Enterprise returned to Earth where it underwent an extensive refit in one of the orbiting spacedocks for several weeks. (Star Trek Nemesis)

In a possible future, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-J) was a Federation starship that was in service to Starfleet in the 26th century. The Enterprise led Federation forces in the Battle of Procyon V, the final battle in the war against the invading Sphere Builders. (ENT episode: “Azati Prime”) (Picture Source Doug Drexler)

The adventures of the Enterprise are legendary and will continue to exist for many more.

Author: Marc Stamper

Trek geek extrordinaire and the TrekMate tech wizard. Always liked Trek but when TNG started here in the UK I fell in love and have not looked back since. Podcaster since January 2012

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  1. what about constitution class starship, galaxy class starship, et cetera, named enterprise in 23rd and 24th century? and those prior to 26th century? ones commanded by archer, april, kirk, picard, the crushers(bev&wes), et. al.

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    • That was all originally in the video which was taken off by YouTube. I haven’t got round to re-writing the article yet.

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