(covers information from several alternate timelines)
|The USS Enterprise in original configuration|
|Owner:||United Federation of Planets|
|Type:||Class I Heavy Cruiser|
|Active:||2240s - 2270s|
|Mass:||600,000 metric tons|
|Speed:||Warp 6 (maximum safe speed)|
Warp 8 (maximum speed)
Warp 9 (attainable at extreme risk)
Warp 11 (attainable with Kelvan engine modifications)
Warp 14.1 (attainable for a few minutes with engine overload)
|Armament:||Phaser banks, 6 forward photon torpedo tubes and an aft torpedo launcher|
|The USS Enterprise in revised configuration|
|Cross-section of Constitution-class schematics|
|The USS Enterprise-A, a refit Constitution class|
|Owner:||United Federation of Planets|
|Active:||2270s - ?|
|Mass:||620,000 metric tons|
|Speed:||Warp factor 8 (max. cruise speed)|
Warp factor 9 (emergency speed)
|Armament:||18 phaser emitters, 2 photon torpedo launchers|
|Defenses:||Deflector shields and defense fields|
The Constitution-class starships, which were also known as Starship-class1 or Class I Heavy Cruisers, were the premier front-line Starfleet vessels in the latter half of the 23rd century. They were designed for long duration missions with minimal outside support and are best known for their celebrated missions of galactic exploration and diplomacy which typically lasted up to five years.
In 2267, there were around twelve3 Constitution-class starships in the fleet. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday") These included the NCC-1700, the USS Constellation, the USS Defiant, the USS Enterprise, the USS Excalibur, the USS Exeter, the USS Hood, the USS Intrepid, USS Lexington, and the USS Potemkin.
The most famous Constitution-class starship was the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701), launched under the command of Captain Robert April in 2245. The Enterprise gained its reputation during its historic five year mission (2265-2270) under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. (VOY: "Q2")
In 2266, on stardate 1709, the Enterprise was instrumental in preventing a war between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire. When a Romulan Bird-of-Prey crossed the Romulan Neutral Zone and destroyed several Earth Outpost Stations, Captain Kirk barely managed to outwit the enemy commander and stop his vessel from returning to Romulus and reporting on the Federation's weakness. (TOS: "Balance of Terror")
The mission parameters for the class meant that its vessels usually operated widely dispersed on their own and that encounters with class sisters were few and far between. However, the year 2267 saw a gathering of the class when a large part of its vessels was assembled at Starbase 11 for refitting and repairs. (TOS: "Court Martial")
Despite the successes of the class, exemplified by the performance of Kirk's ship, the mission parameters for the Constitution-class also meant that the vessels of the class operated under highly dangerous circumstances, resulting in a relatively high loss rate, and that being assigned to one was hazardous at best. In 2267 for example, the USS Constellation under the command of Commodore Matt Decker fell victim to what has become known as the "Doomsday machine", when it was on a routine survey mission near system L-374. Both ship and entire crew were lost. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine") Likewise, and less than a year later in 2268, the Vulcan manned USS Intrepid was lost with its entire crew, in a fatal encounter with a huge simple cellular being in star system Gamma 7A of Sector 39J. (TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome") Later that year, the USS Exeter became infected with an unknown virus, a residue from biological warfare which had raged on Omega IV and which the ship was orbiting, again killing her entire crew, save for its captain, Ronald Tracey. While undamaged, the contaminated ship was for the time being left adrift. (TOS: "The Omega Glory")
In late-2268, Excalibur, Hood, Lexington, and Potemkin took part in the disastrous testing of the M-5 computer, which had been placed in control of the Enterprise. The Excalibur was severely damaged, with all hands lost. The Lexington also was brutally assaulted by the M-5 computer when the unit became unstable. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer") Later that year, Defiant responded to a distress call from an unexplored sector of space, claimed by the Tholian Assembly. Shortly upon entering the region, the Defiant crew began experiencing sensory distortion, and insanity quickly spread throughout the ship. The ship's surgeon was unable to determine what was happening, and eventually the insanity induced by the phenomenon led the crew to kill each other.
Three weeks later, Starfleet ordered the Enterprise to mount a search mission to locate the Defiant. On stardate 5693.2, the Enterprise located her adrift, lost between universes in a space warp. As a result of a later phaser exchange between the Enterprise and several Tholian vessels, a hole was created through the spatial interphase, pushing the Defiant into the mirror universe. (TOS: "The Tholian Web")
Unknown to history in the "prime" universe, the Defiant emerged in the 22nd century mirror universe, where the Tholians of that universe had created the interphase rift by detonating a tricobalt warhead within the gravity well of a dead star. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly") The Defiant would seemingly go on to play a major role in Empress Sato's rule over the Earth. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")
Physical arrangement Edit
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The Constitution-class featured the saucer section-engineering section-warp nacelle layout common to most Starfleet vessels. All ships of the class of the same level of refit appeared to be identical at first glance, but closer inspection revealed minor detail differences on certain vessels. (TOS: "The Cage", "The Ultimate Computer"; Star Trek: The Motion Picture; etc.)
Various science labs, numbering fourteen in all, (TOS: "Operation -- Annihilate!") were located in the primary hull in the class' original configuration. An officer's lounge and dining area would be located in the aft superstructure beneath the bridge after the 2270s refit. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) There were at least seven turbolifts that serviced the primary and secondary hulls. (TOS: "The Man Trap") The modular design of the Constitution-class allowed for component separation in times of crisis. The primary and secondary hulls could separate where the connecting "neck" joined the saucer, allowing either section to serve as a lifeboat if the other was too badly damaged. If an emergency was confined to the warp engine nacelles, it was theoretically possible to disengage and jettison them while keeping the bulk of the vessel intact. Any hull separation was considered a dangerous procedure and not always an option.(TOS: "The Apple", "The Savage Curtain")
Though not an aerodynamic craft, in emergencies, Constitution-class vessels were able to break orbit and enter a Class M planet's upper atmosphere (and maintain altitude control while passing through it) for a limited period of time, conditional on the ship's ability to re-achieve escape velocity. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")
Refit history Edit
From 2254, or earlier, to 2265 Constitution-class vessels featured a large deflector dish, a large bridge dome of semi-spherical shape, and an antenna spike protruding from the Bussard collector cap on each warp nacelle. The impulse drive had two exhaust vents in 2254, and as many as eight smaller vents in 2265. (TOS: "The Cage", "Where No Man Has Gone Before")
Sometime between 2265 and 2266, the old deflector dish was replaced by a significantly smaller model, the spikes on the Bussard collectors were removed, a smaller bridge dome of flatter curvature was installed, the aft caps on the warp nacelles were each equipped with a spherical attachment, and the impulse drive now had only two large exhausts. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver")
The interior passageways, main bridge interior and briefing room were already redesigned sometime between 2254 and 2265, and new intercoms were installed.
In 2266, the interior passageways were again modified, the briefing room was completely redesigned, and the overhauled main bridge featured an enlarged main viewscreen and upgrades to the control interfaces and station arrangement, but the overall appearance of the bridge remained relatively unchanged as compared to 2265. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver")
The crew quarters of the 2254 configuration had the capability of carrying slightly more than 200 crewmembers. (TOS: "The Cage") In the 2266 configuration, crew quarters could hold a crew complement of over 400. (TOS: "Charlie X")
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In the late 2260s to early 2270s, the Constitution-class starships underwent their final major refit program. The actual refitting took eighteen months of work and essentially a new vessel was built onto the bones of the old, replacing virtually every major system. Thus, the Constitution-class continued in service for a further twenty years.
Essential upgrades were made to the Constitution-class' warp systems; the old cylindrical nacelles were replaced with new angular ones and the warp nacelle struts were connected to the engineering hull much closer to the neck than before. The engineering hull roughly retained its original shape – while the original hull was essentially a conical cylinder, the refit was much more rounded.
The deflector dish was upgraded, doing away with the "satellite" dish architecture. As for the interior of the hull, the most obvious upgrades were the enlargement of the shuttle deck and landing bay, as well as the addition of a horizontal matter-antimatter reaction assembly and a vertical intermix chamber.
New also was the installment of the double photon torpedo launcher with its rectangular housing in the neck of the vessel. Also, the phaser configuration was changed to channel energy though the warp core. Furthermore, the saucer section was considerably extended (almost 20 meters), while the rest of the surface remained about the same.
Major changes were made to the interior of the Constitution-class starships; many new systems were added and existing ones upgraded. Summarizing, only the internal structure of the saucer and very little of the engineering hull and neck may have survived the 2270s refit. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Command and control systems Edit
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The Constitution-class's primary command center, the main bridge, was located on top of the vessel's primary hull, on Deck 1. From here, the commanding officer supervised the entire starship's operation.
The command chair was located in the recessed area at the center of the room, in a direct line with the main viewer. This position was equidistant from all the control consoles that operated specific areas of the ship. Consequently, the captain could be immediately updated on the condition of the vessel or its crew during missions, and orders could be given clearly with a minimum of effort. The chair was mounted on a circular pillar, attached to a rectangular footplate that was directly anchored to the deck, giving it considerable support during an attack. It was designed to swivel on the support so that the captain could turn to any member of the bridge crew.
Piloting and navigation functions were carried out at the helm console, located in the center of the room, positioned in front of the command chair. This panel consisted of three main sections.
On the left was a compartment which opened automatically to permit operation of the targeting scanner. Next to this was the main control panel, which operated maneuvering thrusters, impulse engines, and fired the ship's weapons. Directly below this panel was a row of eight flip-switches provided to set warp flight speeds.
The central section of the conn panel was fitted with a number of sensor monitor lights, and was dominated by two main features: the alert indicator and the astrogator, which was used for long-range course plotting. The navigator's station had a control panel for entering course and heading data and the flight path indicator, and supplied information on any deviations or course corrections in progress. It also had controls for the weapons systems.
Other stations on the bridge were provided for communications, engineering, weapons control, gravity control, damage control, environmental engineering, science and library computer, and internal security. All stations were normally manned at all times.
Mounted into the room's forward bulkhead was the main viewscreen. Visual sensor pickups located at various points on the Constitution-class' outer hull were capable of image magnification and allowed a varied choice of viewing angles.
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Only one turbolift serviced the bridge of the original configuration Constitution-class ship. In the late 2260s, some were refit with a second lift on the port forward section of the bridge. (TAS: "Beyond the Farthest Star") After the major refit in the early 2270s, the bridge aboard Constitution-class vessels would continue to utilize two turbolifts, but both would be located behind the command chair. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
The bridge of the Constitution-class starships were subject to many minor and major cosmetic changes over their many years of service. In particular, the main bridge of the USS Enterprise seems to have undergone considerable changes in appearance. In the late 2260s, along with the added turbolift, the bridge design changed from a segmented flat-panel peripheral station configuration to a completely circular design, including curved overhead view screens, and railings and steps which matched the arc of the circumference. At the same time, an automatic bridge defense system was also installed that obscured the translucent overhead dome, which would not return until the Galaxy class bridge. (TAS: "Beyond the Farthest Star") This marked the beginning of major changes to come which would utilize the updated substructure, most notably, its systems were fully upgraded along with the refit of the early 2270s. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
The bridge underwent only a few minor modifications from that point until the destruction of the ship in 2285. The bridge of the USS Enterprise-A, commissioned one year later (in 2286), had mainly cosmetic differences at launch, but, by 2287, it had been drastically upgraded to reflect the advances made in computer control technology. The bridge module had again been replaced by 2293. The lighter color scheme of the original Enterprise-A bridges had made room for a darker, more militaristic look. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
Propulsion systems Edit
The Constitution-class of starships has been fitted with both lithium and dilithium reactor circuits in the warp drive assembly over its service lifetime. The vessel's standard cruising speed was warp 6, while its maximum cruising speed was warp 8. Warp 9 was also possible for this class of starship, although it was highly discouraged because it was an unsafe velocity.
The USS Enterprise was twice modified to achieve a speed of warp 11. The probe Nomad increased the ship's engine efficiency by 57% in 2267, allowing the ship to reach warp 11, but Kirk persuaded Nomad to reverse its "repairs" because the ship's structure could not stand the stress of that much power, and would eventually destroy the ship. (TOS: "The Changeling")
More extensive modifications made to the ship by the Kelvans in 2268, who were able to produce velocities that were far beyond the reach of Federation science, allowing the Enterprise to safely maintain a cruising speed of warp 11 while traveling through the intergalactic void. (TOS: "By Any Other Name")
The maximum warp speed recorded for this class by itself was warp 14.1, achieved by the Enterprise due to sabotage to the vessel's warp drive system. While the ship itself was not structured to take that speed for any length of time, the Enterprise was able to maintain that velocity for nearly 15 minutes. (TOS: "That Which Survives")
Following the 2270s refit of the class, the Constitution was equipped with a linear dilithium-controlled MARA (Matter/Antimatter Reactor Assembly), and a pulse dilithium-controlled assembly was installed by the mid 2290s aboard the USS Enterprise. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
The Constitution-class' impulse drive system was a twin-port engine, capable of velocities at least warp factor 0.8. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) A fusion explosion equivalent to at least 97.835 megatons would result if the impulse engines were overloaded. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")
Main engineering Edit
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Main engineering was from where the ship's warp was controlled. All thrust and power systems were primarily controlled from this site, and it is also where the main dilithium crystal reactor was located. Life support was controlled separately from Deck 6. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer", "The Corbomite Maneuver", "The Naked Time", "The Enemy Within", "The Conscience of the King", and more)
Main engineering was lodged on Decks 14 and 15. Deck 14 was the uppermost level of the engineering hull, and was the anchoring framework for the connecting dorsal and the warp nacelle pylons.
On the forward end of the deck was the engineering computer monitoring room, which encircled the cortical intermix shaft and opens, to the rear, into the engineering computer bay.
Deck 15 housed the main engineering room. Located in the center of the room, and extending for many levels both above and below the deck, was the vertical linear intermix chamber. This complex, radically new design in intermix technology, provided operational power for the impulse drive system and furnished enough additional energy to power all other shipboard systems.
Both matter and antimatter for this chamber were contained in a series of magnetic bottles, which were housed in pods at the base of the intermix shaft. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Tactical systems Edit
Laser and phaser systemsEdit
During the early 2250s, Constitution-class heavy cruisers were armed with a complement of directed energy weapons, that possessed enough power to destroy half a continent in a concentrated bombardment. In addition, these vessels carried on board laser cannons, capable of operating on energy fed remotely from the ship. (TOS: "The Cage", "The Menagerie, Part I", "The Menagerie, Part II")
By 2266, phaser banks were standard complement aboard this class of ship. A bank actually consisted of a single emitter and its power supply, though it was common practice to fire two banks at a time and refer to it as a single firing. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "The Doomsday Machine", "The Paradise Syndrome")
Ship-mounted phaser banks had a range of approximately 90,000 kilometers. Like hand phasers, they were capable of being adjusted to stun, heat, or disintegrate targets, including objects or beings in space or on a planets surface. The focus could be adjusted from a narrow to a wide beam. When only motion sensor readings were available, the ships phasers could be set for proximity blast and bracket the approximate coordinates of the target. (TOS: "Balance of Terror", "A Piece of the Action", "Who Mourns for Adonais?", "The Paradise Syndrome", "The Tholian Web")
In the original configuration, a battery of several forward phaser emitters was located on the lower part of the ventral side of the saucer section. Aft firing banks were located above the shuttlebay on the secondary hull. There were also port, starboard and midship phasers. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"; TOS: "Balance of Terror", "The Paradise Syndrome", "Arena", "Friday's Child").
After the refit of the 2270s, Constitution-class ships mounted three dual-emitter phaser banks on the ventral and three on dorsal faces of the saucer. They covered the forward, port and starboard flanks. Two single emitter aft banks are above the shuttlebay and four midship single emitter banks were located on the ventral surface of the engineering hull. Phaser power was increased by drawing energy directly from the warp drive. This increase in firepower had a drawback in that the phasers would be cut off if the main reactor was off line. This problem hampered the USS Enterprise on at least two occasions, one in the 2270s and again in 2285. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
The Constitution-class originally mounted six forward torpedo tubes and an aft tube for launching photon torpedoes. The forward tubes were located in the same area as the forward phaser banks. The tube covering the aft firing arc launched torpedoes from the end of the secondary hull. This combined arsenal was powerful enough to destroy the entire surface of a planet. (TOS: "Arena", "A Taste of Armageddon", "Journey to Babel"; TAS: "More Tribbles, More Troubles"; ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")
The post-refit vessels had two forward firing torpedo launchers, though each tube could fire at least two torpedoes before reloading. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
The Constitution-class starship had a powerful deflector shield grid in the 2260s. The shield grid was divided into four segments, referred to as "number one shield", "number two shield", etc. (TOS: "Journey to Babel", "Elaan of Troyius") At full power, with the warp reactor tied into the shield system, it was capable of absorbing and repulsing a bombardment of energy impacts equal to the detonation of 360 photon torpedoes of the type the Enterprise was equipped with at the time, before the shielding power was completely lost. In 2267, for example, the Enterprise survived an attack from the Nomad probe. Nomad fired four powerful bolts of energy, each with the equivalent force of 90 photon torpedoes. The first hit reduced shielding power only by twenty percent. After being hit with the equal force of 270 photon torpedoes, warp maneuvering power was lost. Shields were lost with the fourth hit. (TOS: "The Changeling")
The deflector shield grid was much more vulnerable to intense standard phaser bombardment. In 2268, an Orion scout ship was able to cause buckling in some of the shields of the Enterprise after it had made just five attack runs on the ship. On the seventh run, the Enterprise lost one of its four shields. (TOS: "Journey to Babel") Other more powerful weaponry could take the shields down even more easily, the planet killer for example could completely deplete a Constitution-class starship's shielding power with only three hits with its antiproton beam. (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")
The diversion of all but emergency maintenance power to the shields had the adverse affect of reducing phaser power by fifty percent. (TOS: "The Tholian Web") A single detonation of a nuclear warhead less than a hundred meters away could cause internal overloads on the ship and leak radiation through the shields to the outer regions of the ship. (TOS: "Balance of Terror") Without the warp reactor to power the shields, the system was not very effective in protecting the ship. With only the impulse reactors powering the shields, a D7 class Klingon battle cruiser could deplete a Constitution-class starships shielding power with only few passes of disruptor fire. (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")
After the refit, in the 2280s, a Constitution-class starships needed 13.5 seconds to lower and raise their shields when taking a shuttlecraft on board via its tractor beam. Flying the shuttle in manually reduced this time significantly. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) During yellow alerts, defense fields were activated to offer basic protection to the main bridge. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
Transporter systems Edit
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Extravehicular transporter to and from the ship was accomplished by a number of transporter systems, which allowed personnel or equipment to be transported over large ranges. The transporter platform featured six pads, which were numbered clockwise, beginning with the right front. A redesigned field generator matrix was mounted into the rear wall of the chamber aboard the refit configuration Constitution-class starships.
Aboard the refitted Constitution-class vessels, the transporter operator stood within an enclosed control pod, which had a floor-to-ceiling transparent aluminum panel through which he or she could view the transport platform. This panel served to shield the operator from the effects of any cumulative radiations emitted by the new transporter machinery, a side effect of the more powerful system.
A door in the standard transporter room wall led to a staging area where landing parties prepared for transporter.
Refit Constitution-class starships possessed a number of airlocks permitting direct physical access to the ship. One was located at the aft of Deck 1 on top of the saucer section. Two more were located in the lower saucer section, port and starboard, concealed by sliding hull plates. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
These lower two are accessed through staging areas. Four spacesuit lockers line one wall; each containing one suit, providing enough to clothe a standard party of four. A small, locked arms cabinet held phasers; communicators, tricorders, translators, and outerwear were contained in a separate cabinet on another wall. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
The next set of airlocks were located on the port and starboard sides of the torpedo bays. The final set were located on the port and starboard sides of the secondary hull at the midline. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) These airlocks opened into the ship's main cargo bay. There was also a "gangway"-style airlock on the port edge of the saucer section. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Located on the upper surface of the saucer section of the refitted Enterprise were numerous small hatches used for entrance/egress during extra-vehicular activities. (Kirk, Spock, Decker, McCoy, and the Ilia probe use one of these hatches to leave the ship when they arrive at V'Gers "core".) (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Landing bay and cargo facilities Edit
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Deck 17 was the main access level of the engineering hull. The aft landing bay provided personnel in small craft with a means of entering or exiting the vessel, as did docking port on either side of the level.
The refit configuration Constitution-class starship featured a new landing bay design. A wide range of Starfleet and Federation craft could utilize this state-of-the-art landing facility. Alcoves on either side of the landing bay provided storage for up to six standard Work Bees, and furnished all necessary recharging and refueling equipment. Additional space was available for the storage of non-ship shuttlecraft.
Just within the landing bay doors was a force field generator unit, which was built into the main bulkheads on either side of the entry area. This field allowed craft to enter the ship, while at the same time retaining the atmosphere and temperature within the landing bay.
Deck 18, the refit configuration shuttlecraft hanger bay, was situated at the widest point of the engineering hull. Much of the deck consisted of open space, as it was the mid-level of the cargo facility; thirty-two cargo pod modules could be stored in the alcoves lining the forward, port, and starboard sides of the bay.
The shuttle hangar had sufficient room for the storage of four craft at any given time. During normal storage situations, these shuttlecraft faced aft.
This deck also housed the vessel's lifeboat facilities. These one-man craft, which escaped through blow-away panels in the side of the secondary hull, were provided for those persons were unable to reach the primary hull in case of an emergency. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Crew support systems Edit
Medical systems Edit
On the original Constitution-class starships, a sickbay facility was located on Deck 6, which featured an examination room, a nursery, the chief medical officer's office and a medical lab. At least one other medical lab was located elsewhere on the vessel, and was used for biopsy, among other things. Sickbay was considered the safest place to be on the ship during combat. (TOS: "The Naked Time", "Elaan of Troyius")
With the class refit of the 2270s, the medical facilities of the Constitution-class starship were considerably updated. New micro-diagnostic tables were capable of fully analyzing the humanoid body at the sub-cellular level, offering the physician a total understanding of the patient's status.
Another new addition was a medical stasis unit, in which patients whose conditions were considered immediately life-threatening could be placed into suspended animation until the proper cure or surgical procedure could be established. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Crew quarters Edit
Crew quarters were located throughout the saucer section – keeping with Starfleet tradition, Deck 5 housed the senior officers' quarters. On the refit configuration vessels, these staterooms were quite similar to the VIP units on Deck 4, with only a few differences.
On starships of the original configuration, the officers' quarters featured two areas, separated partly by a wall fragment. One area was allocated as sleeping area, featuring a comfortable bed, and another as work area, including a desk and computer terminal. Entrance to a bathroom was provided through the quarter's sleeping area. Both areas could be configured to personal preference. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II"; TOS: "The Enemy Within")
On Constitution-class vessels, staterooms of the senior officers were composed of two areas which were separated by a retractable, transparent aluminum partition. The room's entrance opened into the living area. A library computer terminal and work desk were provided here. The room's corner circular nook, normally occupied by a dining booth, could be modified at the officer's request.
The other half of the stateroom was a sleeping area, which held a single large bed that could double as sofa during off-duty relaxation. A transparent door led into the bathroom area. By the 2290s, crew space was at a premium, and the size of officers' quarters was reduced to one large room and crewmen were housed in dormitories with bunk beds. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
Recreational facilities Edit
Aboard the original Constitution-class starships, there were at least six recreation rooms, which included three-dimensional chess and card game tables. There was also a holographic rec room, which was the predecessor of the holodeck. Also aboard were as arboretum, gymnasium, a bowling alley, a theater, and a chapel. (TOS: "Charlie X", "The Naked Time", "The Conscience of the King"; Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
On the refitted Constitution-class vessels, recreational facilities were further expanded. One large room in the aft section of the starship's saucer section furnished off-duty personnel with a wide variety of recreational games and entertainment. At the front of the room was an immense, wall-mounted viewing screen. Beneath this was an information display alcove; five small screens exhibited, upon request, a choice of pictorial histories. A raised platform in the center of the lower level floor featured a diversity of electronic entertainment. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Officers' lounge Edit
Located at the stern of Deck 2 aboard the refit configuration Constitution-class starship was the officers' lounge. Here, four huge view ports afforded a spectacular view of the ship's warp nacelles and space beyond.
To the sides, small plant areas held flora from several worlds and a small pool featured freshwater tropical fish. Just forward of this section of the lounge were two privacy areas. In each privacy area, a view screen was mounted into the wall, providing a full exterior tour of the vessel. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Ships commissioned Edit
See also Edit
The Constitution-class Enterprise appeared in every episode of TOS and TAS (except for "The Slaver Weapon"). TOS episodes featuring other Constitution-class vessels besides Enterprise are listed below.
- Star Trek films:
- Star Trek: The Motion Picture
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
- Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (original and refit)
- Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
- Star Trek Generations (painting)
- Star Trek: First Contact (model)
- Star Trek Nemesis (model)
- VOY: "In the Flesh" (wall display, original and refit)
Background information Edit
For the origins of the Constitution-class designation, see: Footnote 1
Studio models Edit
Registry number Edit
Matt Jefferies was, apart from designing the ship, also responsible for its famous registry number "NCC-1701". As he explains, "Since the 1920's, N has indicated the United States in Navy terms, and C means 'commercial' vessel. I added an extra C just for fun. Interestingly, Russia's designation is CCC. So The N and C together made it kind of international. After that, I had to pick some numbers. They had to be easily identifiable from a distance, so that eliminated 3, 8 , 6, 9 and 4-none of which is that clear from a distance, That didn't leave much! So 1701 was as good a choice as any. The reason we gave for the choice afterwards was that the "Enterprise" was the 17th major design of the Federation, and the first in the series. 17-01!" (Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook, p. 62), "(...)which, incidentally and coincidentally, happens to be very close to the licence number on my airplane-NC-17740. But I have never really stepped out and squashed the rumor that the number on the "Enterprise" came off my airplane." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 10, p. 26)
When approved, Gene Roddenberry's proposal made it abundantly clear that the bridge of his proposed starship was to become one of, if not the, most important standing sets for the proposed show, since most of the projected on-board scenes were to take place on the bridge, as it has been for every subsequent Star Trek production ever since.
- Original configuration bridge
When hired in late 1964 for the production of the first pilot "The Cage", then Set Designer Matt Jefferies recalled, "The original concept of the bridge being circular was from a little water color or pastel sketch that Pato Guzman did. But it only covered about 180 degrees of the circle, so gradually, when we thought about where we were going to locate it on the shop, and about the things we felt could come up as story points, it became full circle. Which had its advantages, because we were getting into molded fiberglass at the time, we could make a mold and instead of just making one section you could make eight of it. So more set was possible for less money; that's what it amounted to." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 11, p. 20)
Concerning the design of the Enterprise's bridge, Jefferies explained, "It was pretty well established with the model that the thing was going to be in a full circle. From there it became a question of how we were going to make it, how it could come apart, where the cameraman could get into it." Further clarifying his thought processes, Jefferies continued:
"I decided that the crewman would work like in the navy, so often would be on for four hours, off eight hours, and it had better be comfortable. The switches would all be so that the crewman doesn't have to reach for anything. Each of the viewing screens would be at right-angles to his eyes, and we drew a full size section of the bridge that way. I wanted an all-black instrument panel that would light up from behind which is pretty much what we came up with. I did all of the artwork on each one of the instruments, and got the negative, put the color on the negative and mounted 'em under black glass. I was still assembling those things on one side of the bridge when they were shooting the other side...." 
The numerous bright light bulbs on the bridge set had very modest origins as John Jefferies recalled, "For the jewel lights on the consoles and the bridge and anywhere we needed a panel that had lights behind it, ice-trays were used that were tipped of on edge to put resin in, put some color in you know.", to which Set Decorator John Dwyer has added, "That was buttons and light. If we wanted to light them up, we'd drill a hole, put a piece of plastic on top, put a light in the back of it." (TOS Season 2 DVD-special feature, "Designing the Final Frontier")
One feature Jefferies envisioned in this design stage was an early touch-screen console variant, even though the denomination did not exist at the time, having been called "magic jukebox stuff" by him, "For the displays, what I was after was a perfectly plain black panel that would light up when you touched a spot. But the lights were so string that we didn't dare leave them on for more than a matter of seconds, or it would melt the unit under it!" In the end the effect, envisioned as a film sandwiched between two pieces of glass and backlit, did not quite work out as Jefferies had intended, and he had to make do with a far more static version. And even then Jim Rugg had to jump in frequently and kill the switches to avoid consoles to burn out. "I wanted to get a cumulative effect with the lights rather than indiscriminate blinking: what I was trying to do without getting into all kinds of expensive stuff was get an amber, two ambers, three ambers, four ambers and then a red or something like that. All of the instrumentation I did personally: I did the artwork, had it shot, go the negative, put the color in the negative, and then sandwiched it under that black glass.", Jefferies elaborated. (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 11, p. 22)
The casts Jefferies referred to, became parts of the so-called "wild-sets" when the bridge was rebuilt for the regular series production, and as far as Producer Robert Justman was concerned they were a God-send, "The other untouchable set was the bridge. My experience with both pilots convinced me it should be filmable from any angle, allowing us to pull out any module quickly without compromising the intricate wiring for all the other consoles. To do This, Matt Jefferies and Roy Long made a mold from one of the heavy, all-wood bridge consoles and used it to cast enough lightweight plastic resin and fiberglass copies for the entire set. Now our grips could quickly pull or reset them for any camera setup that the director chose. Set operations became much more efficient thanks to Matt and STAR TREK 's unsung hero, studio construction chief Roy Long." Continuing, Justman went further into the details of the advantages of having wild-sets, "Next, special effects wizard Jim Rugg and his crew wired every console so that any section could be removed without wreaking havoc upon the electronics in the remaining ones (This monumental job took many weeks od work, and only became operational shortly before we filmed our very first episode, "The Corbomite Maneuver"). While the bridge was now a re3ally wild set, the choice of camera angles was somewhat restricted because the Enterprise miniature had to be photographed flying left to right on screen. This was because the ship's running lights and illuminated power pods were fed by an umbilical which entered the fuselage on the off-camera port side. Therefore, the major angles inside the bridge had to reflect thos screen direction. Next time you watch STAR TREK, note that the ship almost always travels from camera left to camera right." (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 17, p. 13) A noticeable difference was that instead of the originally eight wild sets, it was decided to have now ten wild sets.
Jefferies' taking a cue from the Navy's operating procedures had a real life reciprocated effect as the Navy took a cue form his bridge design, "Gene called me one day and said there were some navy officers that wanted information on the bridge and why we did it the way we did. So they came in – a commander and a lieutenant – and we treated them to lunch, and I showed them the drawing and pulled the blueprints for them, and they got to look at he bridge itself. We got a nice letter the following week thanking us, and about a year later another thank-you letter saying that the information had led to the design of a new master communications center at NAS San Diego. And they would like to invite me down to see it, but unfortunately it was classified. I didn't bother to tell them that I still had an ultra top secret clearance from work I had done when I was in Washington before coming out here!". (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 11, p. 21)
The original set was reportedly constructed at a cost of close to $60,000, and took six weeks to complete from conception to construction. (The Making of Star Trek, p. 106)
- Refit-configuration bridge
A set of similar design was built and used to serve as the bridges of the Enterprise and Enterprise-A in the first six Star Trek films, though it was frequently redressed to meet the particular tastes of a director and/or production designer.
When redesigning the bridge of the refit-Constitution-class for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Graphic Designer Lee Cole recalled, "'We did a lot of research in getting the bridge together. We talked to a lot of scientists about what advancements might occur by the 23rd century. But despite our research and our contact with all these brilliant minds, we often couldn't use our findings for the film. I had originally designed the Enterprise consoles to be entirely smooth. The were to be heat sensitive, so a crew member could execute his or her duties by simply waving a hand over the console. No buttons or anything would protrude from the surface. But Robert Wise said, and rightly so, that those sort of designs just wouldn't be dramatic. In his director's role he explained that, in a really dramatic sense when Sulu's hand is grasping at this lever in an attempt to save the ship, it wouldn't be very exciting not to have a lever there for him to grasp. So we had to violate some scientific principles in order to come up with some big knobs and levers." (Future Life, issue 17, p. 45) Cole's "entirely smooth" consoles, essentially the same proposition Jefferies had made one-and-a-half decade earlier, ultimately did turn up a decade later as the touch screen interfaces in Star Trek: The Next Generation
William Shatner, director on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, had been so impressed with Herman Zimmerman's work on The Next Generation as production designer, that he hired Zimmerman to upgrade the Enterprise interiors for the film. Hence, the upgraded bridge from the movie resembled the bright atmosphere portrayed in The Next Generation, although strictly speaking, his predecessor Jack T. Collis had already applied the brightened atmosphere on the bridge at the end in the previous movie outing, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Decades later Zimmerman later jokingly commented after seeing the film, considered flawed by many, "After the show was over, I was pretty sure I would never do another!" (The Art of Star Trek, p. 249; Star Trek: 45 Years of Designing the Future) For Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, however, the bridge was once more redressed to reflect director Nicholas Meyer's earlier, more militaristic approach in The Wrath of Khan.
Aside from representing the main bridge of the refit-Constitution-class, the set has also doubled, frequently redressed, on numerous occasion as the bridge of several other Starfleet/Federation vessels, with a Romulan one to boot; These included the bridges of the,
- Miranda-class vessels USS Reliant, USS Lantree, USS Bozeman and the USS Saratoga (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, TNG: "Unnatural Selection", "Cause and Effect", DS9: "Emissary")
- Oberth-class vessel USS Grissom (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
- first version of the battle bridge of the Galaxy-class vessel USS Enterprise-D (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint", "The Arsenal of Freedom")
- Constellation-class vessels USS Stargazer and USS Hathaway (TNG: "The Battle", "Peak Performance")
- Ambassador-class vessel USS Enterprise-C (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")
- Excelsior-class vessels USS Excelsior and USS Enterprise-B (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; VOY: "Flashback", Star Trek Generations)
- Amargosa observatory's control center (Star Trek Generations)
- D'deridex-class vessel Lovok's Warbird (DS9: "The Die is Cast")
- USS Prometheus (VOY: "Ship in a Bottle")
- SS Raven (VOY: "Dark Frontier")
- Nova-class vessel USS Equinox (VOY: "Equinox")
Constructed in 1977, with its last recorded use in 1999, the refit-Constitution-class bridge set, has been the longest-lived standing set in the history of the live-action Star Trek franchise. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture (The Director's Edition)-special feature, "text commentary"; Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, individual episode entries; Star Trek Encyclopedia, individual ship entries)
Jefferies tube setEdit
Quite early on in the production of the regular Original Series run, the need for a dramatic devise was perceived in order to emphasize particular tense, emergency moments in an episode, which the producers found in the form of a cramped internal maintenance conduit, the Jefferies tube. Executive in Charge of Production Herb Solow elaborated, "Necessity made Matt Jefferies the absolute mother of Star Trek invention. As Engineering Officer Scott gained importance, there came the need for a compact set where Scotty could feverishly work to effect emergency repairs on the ship’s internal circuitry, when the preservation of the galaxy and the future of the Enterprise was in doubt. With short notice and little money, Matt designed a tall cylinder that later became known as the “Jefferies Tube”. The camera could shoot straight down at Engineer Scott as he clung to the inside of the cramped set with lights flickering all around him. An assortment of bells, whistles, gongs and beeps was laid in afterward by the sound editors." (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p. 167)
- Original configuration Jefferies tube
Set Designer John Jefferies, the younger brother to Matt and who, with his team, had to build his brother's designs, recalled how the Original Series Jefferies tube was constructed, "It was the only part of that set that was moved on [note: meaning it was a mobile set, mounted on rollers], that was on an incline, and it was made out of a Sona Tube that we cut and expanded a little bit. Sona Tubes were large cardboard tubes that could be purchased. They were used for forming concrete and we would buy these in either eight- or ten-foot lengths and they came in many varying diameters. They ran about a half an inch thick and they were wrapped cardboard. Well, we found these marvelous for pieces of set and curved walls, because they were quick." (TOS Season 2 DVD-special feature, "Designing the Final Frontier") Associate Producer Robert Justman has added, "Whenever shooting scripts called for the Jefferies Tube, Matt added more dojiggers and thingamajigs to it. Since there was no space available on Stage 8 to keep the contraption set up all the time, Jefferies put his tube on wheels so it could be easily moved in whenever it became necessary for Scotty to restore "war-rp" power and save the galaxy. Again." (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, p. 168) To the cramped, at an angle inclined tube was later added a wider, vertically orientated one, with a three-sided ladder in the center, frequently seen recessed in the hallways of the Enterprise.
While Jefferies himself had endowed his design with the designation "Engineering Power Shaft", the set quickly went under the denominator "Jefferies tube" amongst the production staffers themselves as an in-joke. Jefferies himself had indicated, "Somebody hung the name Jefferies Tube on it. It wasn't me, but the name stuck and I used it in some of my sketches!" (Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook, p. 72) Never elevated to canon during the Original Series, the name indeed stuck and was adopted by Star Trek production staffers for every subsequent Star Trek production ever since and was expanded to the larger, more spacious service conduits as well, seen later in the franchise. Elevation into canon only came about in 1990, when the scene 58 line "Danar must have climbed the reactor core and gotten into a Jefferies tube." was spoken aloud by Lieutenant Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation's third season episode "The Hunted".
An annotation on Jefferies' design sketch read that he had designed the Jefferies tube for the first season episode "The Enemy Within", though it was not featured there. The entrance of the tube was first seen in that season's episode "Charlie X", whereas the interior of the tube was for the first time seen in "The Naked Time", both of which produced later, but aired before "The Enemy Within".
Nearly four decades later, in 2005, set designers on Star Trek: Enterprise recreated the cramped inclined original Jefferies tube as an USS Defiant (NCC-1764) one, for the fourth season episode "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II". Concurrently, they dressed one of the standing NX-class sets to approximate the appearance of the original vertical one with the addition of a three-sided ladder. The vertical tube had already been recreated once before in 1996 for the Deep Space Nine fifth season homage episode "Trials and Tribble-ations". The Enterprise episode though, added to canon as well, as it was established that the inclined Jefferies tube was actually an access passage to more spacious horizontally aligned overhead maintenance conduits in the original configuration Constitution-class vessels. These too, were standing Enterprise NX-01 sets, which the set decorators and designers adapted as much as possible to resemble the visual style of the Original Series, most notably by adding, or painting the existing, tubings and pipings in the bright colors as was established for that series and including the application of GNDN signage already applied in the Original Series and renowned in Star Trek lore. (ENT Season 4 DVD-special features, "Inside the 'Mirror' Episodes" & "In a Mirror, Darkly: Audio commentary")
- Refit-configuration Jefferies tube
Part of the reason why the designation "Jefferies tube" stuck was, that it evolved from an in-joke to a homage, as Jefferies became revered by his production designer/art director successors on the subsequent Star Trek incarnations. Archivist Penny Juday has explained in 2002, "The Jefferies tube is used even today. The last feature [note: Star Trek Nemesis] is an example, where she took the Jefferies tube and made it really big. That's where you see the Viceroy and you see Commander Riker fighting together, is inside a larger version of the Jefferies tube. So, Herman Zimmerman has made sure that the name sticks, and he has always idolized Matt and his work. And he has always tried to incorporate Matt's work and designs and to make sure that the theme is carried on into the new TV series and all of the features. Almost all the time - not in every episode of course - but when we need a crawl space, that's exactly what we use; It's always called a Jefferies tube." (TOS Season 2 DVD-special feature, "Designing the Final Frontier") As it so happened, it was actually Zimmerman who was the production designer on the earlier movie The Final Frontier, where he had already made use of the opportunity to design a large and, as it turned out, the only Jefferies tube seen on a refit-Constitution-class vessel, although he was not yet able to get the expression "Jefferies tube" elevated into canon at the time.
Other interior setsEdit
- Refit-configuration interiors
One of Andrew Probert's key concerns as production illustrator on The Motion Picture was that the sets built somehow conformed to the structure of the starship they were supposed to exist within. Here we see Probert's development sketches for an officer's lounge in the saucer section's upper dome. Probert's concept art was, however, not used for the movie, and a much cheaper set was constructed for the scene.
Probert's main contribution for the Enterprise interior came in the form of the vessel's cargo deck, thoughts on which had already been visualized by veteran Mike Minor, before Probert had a chance to address it. Minor worked at the Paramount lot, while Probert was at the Robert Abel & Associates special effects facility, designing various pieces of space hardware.
The thinking, then at Paramount under production designer Harold Michelson, was that the cargo bay would be a space 30 feet high that had two walls with twelve holes containing cargo pods. Mike Minor's cargo deck design shows us cargo pods simply stacked or lined up on the deck, leaving a huge open and unused space above. The walkways along the sides were also rather old fashioned looking.
The image to the right shows the plate of the cargo deck scene, filmed from Kirk's perspective as he enters the new Enterprise. What Andrew Probert was required to do was to get a frame of plate film and have it printed at a pre-determined size. Part of this frame, required for the live action elements, would be cut out and pasted to a piece of illustration board. The remaining blank board, intended to be the matte, would then be painted around that piece, blending the two together.
Following a discussion with Douglas Trumbull examining the logic of the early cargo deck concepts, this elevation sketch of the Enterprise was drawn by Andrew Probert upon Trumbull's question how the pods would get in and out of the cargo deck. What Probert proposed was that the landing bay and cargo deck be connected, allowing the easy passage of cargo trains.
The idea was that shuttles would normally take off from and land in the landing bay. They then could be lowered to the Hanger Bay level, or lowered another level to shuttle maintenance. A multi-paneled two-story door, between the elevators and cargo bay, has been opened to the sides allowing the transfer of cargo.
The design was used in the next five films as the Enterprise and the Enterprise NCC-1701-A. It was intended to reveal in Star Trek: The First Adventure that the familiar design was a refit: originally the Enterprise had no secondary hull, and bore a striking similarity to an NX-class ship.
Ship's operations graphicsEdit
Though production wise the term "master systems display" (MSD) was only introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation, several episodes and movies established that graphics and schematics, sharing some properties similar with those of a MSD, were already in use in in the The Original Series, and the first six Star Trek films, both wall mounted as well as computer console read-outs
- Original configuration operations graphics
The best known of these graphics was the large rudimentary graphic situated on the bulkhead right next to the turbolift doors on the bridge (on the left when entering the lift from the bridge). That graphic was designed and fabricated by Matt Jefferies. Ironic is that, due to its background position on the set, a more detailed view was only afforded in "The Naked Time", though the graphic could be seen throughout the entire run of the series. Lacking a caption, it can not be ascertained with certainty what the in red emphasized sections signify, though obvious candidates are turboshafts or Jefferies tubes. Doug Drexler proceeded from the former assumption as he had situated the turbolift shafts on his below-mentioned graphic exactly on the same locations as the original graphic.
Two smaller back-lit variations of the graphic, labeled "Hull pressure comp'ts", also appeared in TOS. One was first seen on the workstation left of the communications station on the bridge in "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and later on the engineering workstation in "Errand of Mercy", the second variation was seen on a computer console in "Day of the Dove". The first variation showed up as Lot 03 on 8 August 2010 in the Propworx "The Official Star Trek Prop and Costume Auction", estimated at US$10,000-$20,000, where it sold for US$14,000. It was resold for US$20,000 ($24,600 including buyers premium) in the 2012 Profiles in History's Hollywood Auction 49 as Lot 914, having been estimated at US$20,000-$30,000. The second one is discussed in Star Trek: The Original Series Sketchbook, page 113, where it is revealed that that graphic was taken out of a bridge console and photographed in the computer console, but due to an oversight was not put back and never used again. It consequently ended up in Jefferies' possession, who eventually sold it as Lot 176, with an estimate of US$3,000-$5,000 in Profile's The Star Trek Auction, on 12 December 2001. In the same auction, Jefferies' original production drawing, that served as basis for the graphics, was also sold as Lot 87, having had an estimate of US$1,000-$2,000.
A cut-away schematic appeared in the Star Trek: Enterprise fourth season episode "In a Mirror, Darkly" on the USS Defiant's bridge, was a graphic originally created by Senior Production Illustrator Doug Drexler for the Star Trek: Captain's Chair CD-rom. wbm It was used unaltered for the episode and situated main engineering in the secondary hull, though that was never firmly established in the Original Series. "Matt and I talked about this. He thought having engineering in the primary hull defeated the whole idea. You wanted to be able to get rid of it if you had to. Besides, why put engineering any place else other than the engineering section? There was an Impulse deck in the Primary Hull.", Drexler later rationalized. wbm As for the layout of the warp engines, akin to that of the refit, he elaborated, "We didn't speak specifically about that. But obviously a huge exchange of energy was taking place behind that hex grill in Engineering, within the ship. We also know that the Dilithium crystals came up out of the floor in the main engineering room (that tells me the warp core is horizontal and lives under there. In my mind, it extends all the way back under the amazing cathedral manifold). We know that all the ships power is being pulled through these crystals, and we know they aren't in the nacelles. So the engineering hull is designed to split from the primary hull. Something nasty is happening in the warp nacelles as well, and they are designed to jettison." wbm
- Refit-configuration operations graphics
Unlike the Original Series, and unlike the later introduced other major Federation/Starfleet starship-classes, the refit-Constitution-class vessels as seen in the first six movies, have never sported a large wall mounted ship's operations graphic, whether it was on the bridge or in main engineering. Numerous smaller computer console ones were featured though, on the various work stations scattered around the bridge as backlit graphic transparencies.
A saucer separation was suggested in the original script of the Original Series episode "The Apple" but not produced due to budgeting. The capability was however envisioned by the producers, "Designed to operate separately from the rest of the ship, the saucer therefore contains all elements necessary for independent operation." (The Making of Star Trek, p. 171)
Another saucer separation sequence was envisioned by Andrew Probert in 1978 when the script for Star Trek: The Motion Picture was in flux. During a lull in script development Probert came up with an alternative scene in which V'Ger releases a Klingon K't'inga-class battle cruiser. Upon re-materialization the Klingons true to their nature immediately attack the Enterprise. During the battle Kirk is forced to a perform a maneuver akin to that of William T. Riker in "The Best of Both Worlds, Part II". Douglas Trumbull liked the idea and had Probert draw up color story-boards to show the sequence. Some of the story-boards were published in Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 22, p. 132, and in The Art of Star Trek, pages 198-199. Probert's concept was not entirely a flight of fancy as the actual studio model was constructed in such a way that a saucer separation could be filmed if the need arose. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 3rd ed., page 9) Probert himself remarked in this regard, "The Enterprise was always designed to separate from the Engineering section. I knew about this when I did Star Trek: The Motion Picture. And if you look at the bottom of Kirk's Enterprise [note: original configuration], you'll notice two triangular items, which are two of the landing feet for the saucer. Regardless of whether it was Matt Jefferies' original intention or not, it's sort of the way that "Trekdom" or "Star Trek lore" has labeled those features. So taking my cue from that for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I placed four landing legs in the bottom of the Enterprise and crated a very specific separation line on the dorsal." (Star Trek: The Next Generation USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D Blueprints, booklet, p. 8)
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1 "Starship-class": If one read the dedication plaque on the bridge of the original Enterprise, it was actually listed as "Starship Class". The term "Constitution-class" originated from the script for the season one episode "Space Seed". Scene 44 of the Second Revised Final Draft for "Space Seed," dated December 13, 1966 had the following content:
- 44 ANGLE ON SICK BAY VIEWER
- It is covered with mathematical symbols and diagrams. CAMERA PULLS BACK to show Khan studying with great concentration. He pushes a button. Another transparency appears: a chapter heading, reading: BASIC SPECIFICATIONS, CONSTITUTION CLASS STAR SHIP.
The graphic that was constructed for this script direction, but which was ultimately not used in the episode according to the influential "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship" article by Greg Jein, published in the April 1973 issue 27 of the T-Negative fanzine, did make its first canon appearance in the second season episode "The Trouble with Tribbles", as an otherwise unreadable graphic of a technical journal on a computer screen that Scotty was reading, showing a phaser bank diagram for a "Constitution-class" starship. The graphic was endowed with a caption that read,
- PRIMARY PHASER L, R
- STAR SHIP MK IX/01
- CONSTITUTION CLASS
While this scripted reference was "understood" to have established the Enterprise belonging to the Constitution-class ever since by production staffers and fans alike, it was not until 1982 that the designation started to seep into canon. Authors of reference works such as Franz Joseph's Star Fleet Technical Manual were privy to scripts' contents, and to the fact that Enterprise herself was Constitution-class, even though it had never been mentioned in dialog or been readable on screen. Drawings from the aforementioned Technical Manual with the class name appeared on screen, again unreadable, in The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock. These were the first occasions a canonical production assigned the Constitution name to the class designation of the Enterprise. The Voyage Home assigned this class name to the refit-Enterprise as well, although some production staff previously and, apparently, unofficially called that design Enterprise-class, which actually was utilized, and discernible, for the Mark IV bridge simulator seen in The Wrath of Khan. The name Enterprise-class was also used in reference to the refitted Enterprise and the Enterprise-A in Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise, though that particular reference book is neither considered canon nor "official". (Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 2, Issue 11, p. 71)
The first time it was actually referred to as such in dialog, was by Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the first season episode "The Naked Now" of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which was followed by the first firm visual, clearly legible, confirmation in the form of the heading of a blueprint Scotty was examining in The Undiscovered Country, firmly establishing the fact in canon. The designation has been mentioned several times and been more prominently visible in later series and episodes referencing ships of the Original Series and movies design. In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly" the dedication plaque of the USS Defiant (NCC-1764) clearly stated that she belonged to the Constitution-class (In the original third season episode "The Tholian Web", the plaque, which was of course Enterprise's, could not be seen due to deliberate camera angles). Not being one of the ships listed in the original final names list as reproduced in The Making of Star Trek (p. 165), used by the production team of the series, and although not being canon, this strongly suggested two things according to Greg Jein; Firstly, Starfleet changed its nomenclature from Starship-class to Constitution-class during the run of the Original Series-era (nicely tying in with Scotty keeping abreast by reading technical updates for the ship he is working on), and secondly, the Defiant belonged to a later batch of Constitutions (supported by the fact she has the highest registry number of all the definitively established Constitutions). Commissioned somewhere during the Original Series-era, she therefore had an unfortunately short career, at least in Star Trek's prime universe, or as Jein had succinctly put it, "Tough break". 
2 The launch date of the class has never been established, but the reference book The Making of Star Trek stated on page 203 that the producer's intent was that the "Enterprise-class starships have been in existence for about forty years." Its author Stephen Whitfield, who had full access to production sources, wrote the book during the production of season two, narrowing the class launch window down to the mid-2220's. Interestingly, this meant that the Enterprise was a relative late-comer into the class, as its launch year was generally understood, but not firmly established, to be 2245 by production staffers and as was propagated in numerous reference books afterwards. Greg Jein in his article also proceeded from this understanding, and taking his cue from the "MK IX/01" annotation in the aforementioned technical journal graphic, postulated the ship to be of a newer "MK IX" subclass, with the USS Constitution (NCC-1700) as its (sub-)class vessel, in the process trying to make sense of the lower registry numbers by postulating them to belong to older sub-classes. 
3 There may only be twelve Constitution-class ships as of the first season episode "Tomorrow is Yesterday", but the line this was drawn from ("there are only twelve like it in the fleet"), has given rise to speculation that the Enterprise should be excluded from the count, meaning there could be thirteen Constitution-class ships as of that date. The twelve ship assertion was actually supported by production sources, as The Making of Star Trek (p. 203) clearly stated that, as far as the production staff was concerned, the intent was that there were twelve operational ships of the class foreseen for the second season by the time of its production, the Enterprise included and taking into account the two ships, USS Valiant and USS Farragut, already established as being destroyed in the first season episode "A Taste of Armageddon", and already foreseen as mentioned destroyed in the second season episode "Obsession", respectively. Kirk's statement then neatly corresponded with the twelve ship assumption; two, the Farragut and Valiant, presumed destroyed before the remark, with the USS Constellation (in "The Doomsday Machine", and already accounted for by D.C. Fontana in her memo version, though it was still in operation at the time of "Tomorrow is Yesterday" canonically) and USS Intrepid (in "The Immunity Syndrome") being destroyed after the remark. It should be noted that the inclusion of the Valiant was a late addition and that it was not even considered in the first two proposals. This, canonically speaking at least, constituted somewhat of a conundrum, an observation not lost on Greg Jein, as he had noted that the ship in question was already destroyed in 2217, whereas the Constitutions only became operational a decade later as far as was established by the producers.  While another, new ship would have made more sense, the intent of the producers was clear, the class was retro-applied to the lost ship. Yet, the twelve ship statement only held true under the supposition that the Defiant – not foreseen by the producers – had not yet been commissioned, which is open to debate; otherwise, and this was implied by the fact that the ship was already fully operational less than a year later, the thirteen ship number became valid.
After some corresponding with suggestions to and fro, the definitive name list of vessels belonging to the, then still called Starship-class, was agreed upon by the producers (dutifully carried over to the decal sheet of AMT's 1968 re-issue USS Enterprise model kit) at the start of the series' second season, and comprised the following vessels (The Making of Star Trek, pp. 164-165):
D.C. Fontana's proposal 8 August 1967
Definitive list as utilized at the start of TOS Season 2
- ↑ Aside from the remarks behind several of the names, Fontana further annotated on her memo,"Alternates include the names of some famous fighting ships of the past, plus a couple of international variations we might consider, Star Fleet being composed of a united service."
- ↑ Justman noted in his memo, "I think there would be several other candidates, such as Saratoga and perhaps another English carrier, a French carrier, a Russian carrier and certainly a Japanese carrier [note: though the ultimately chosen Kongo was in reality a World War I and II -era Japanese battleship, as were the British HMS Hood and Russian Potemkin.]. In addition, I think a name ought to be made up that would be of Vulcan origin [note: though not adopted, some of Justman's notion was carried over to having the Intrepid a crew that was almost entirely composed of Vulcans]."
4 The Star Fleet Technical Manual lists the Defiant as NCC-1717, though the reference book has since then been considered non-canon and treated as apocryphal by the franchise. On-screen the ship was endowed with the registry number NCC-1764, though it was not discernible in its original appearance in "The Tholian Web".
- Registry numbers: Although the Star Trek Encyclopedia and other references provide complete registry numbers for many Constitution-class ships, these numbers were until 2006 at best conjecture. Many of the Encyclopedia's numbers were derived from Greg Jein's "The Case of Jonathan Doe Starship" article, which assumed that the list seen on the wall at Starbase 11 in "Court Martial" were all Constitutions. Yet, once the 2006 remastered version of the series came along, Michael Okuda made use of the opportunity to marry Jein's conjectural registry numbers, where applicable, to their respective ship names, thereby elevating conjecture to canon for those registry numbers, including that of the Defiant.
5 USS Yorktown: Gene Roddenberry suggested that the USS Enterprise-A was first designated as USS Yorktown, and later recommissioned as USS Enterprise-A, probably because Yorktown was the original name used in Roddenberry's 1964 proposal pitch to NBC. Roddenberry felt that it was very unlikely that a brand new ship would have been constructed so fast after the destruction of the original Enterprise. (Star Trek Encyclopedia, 3rd edition. p. 572) Had this became canon, the Yorktown would have been definitively been established as a Constitution-class vessel, which had been the intent of the Original Series producers in the first place. It would have also served as a convenient rationale why Scotty had so much trouble getting the ship into operational order in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier after the debilitating effects the Whale Probe inflicted on the ship in the previous outing. The notion of the re-naming was flat-out stated by Michael Okuda as being the case in his Star Trek: The Next Generation Writers' Technical Manual's (2nd edition, p. 6), somewhat toned down in his later published reference works, but emphatically reaffirmed in the even later officially endorsed Star Trek Fact Files and the 2010 reference book USS Enterprise Owners' Workshop Manual (p. 38 and on which Okuda served as the technical consultant). The Starfleet practice of renaming a vessel for a very deserving other vessel was later canonically established in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, when the USS Sao Paulo was rechristened USS Defiant when the original latter was destroyed in the Dominion War. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil", "The Dogs of War")
- On a side note; The World War 2 aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6), after which Roddenberry named the NCC-1701, was a sister ship of the USS Yorktown (CV-5), belonging to the same Yorktown-class, the other one being the USS Hornet (CV-8), a name also considered by the aforementioned staff in an earlier draft of the names list. (The Making of Star Trek, p. 164) The three class sisters had their finest hour at the Battle of Midway in 1942, where they operated together, but where the Yorktown was lost. The Hornet and the Wasp (a scaled down variant of the Yorktown-class and another name considered by the producers) were lost later in the war, leaving the Enterprise the sole class survivor. Like its fictional counterpart, the historical Enterprise has become one of history's most celebrated vessels.
Constitution-class registry Edit
Although not considered canon, several sources have produced a long list of Constitution-class starships. The main source was Franz Joseph's aforementioned Star Fleet Technical Manual, which listed over 100 Constitution-class ships divided into sub-classes: Constitution, Bonhomme Richard, Achernar and Tikopai. Ships of the class were later expanded by other publications such as Ships of the Star Fleet which included the Endeavour, Enterprise, and Enterprise (II) sub-classes. It should be noted that Joseph incorporated all the ship names the Original Series producers had originally proposed at the start of the second season.
- Constitution-class ships:
- USS Constitution (NCC-1700)
- USS Constellation (NCC-1017)
- USS Republic (NCC-1371)
- USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
- USS Farragut (NCC-1702)
- USS Lexington (NCC-1703)
- USS Yorktown (NCC-1704)
- USS Excalibur (NCC-1705)
- USS Exeter (NCC-1706)
- USS Hood (NCC-1707)
- USS Intrepid (NCC-1708)
- USS Valiant (NCC-1709)
- USS Kongo (NCC-1710)
- USS Potemkin (NCC-1711)
- USS Bonhomme Richard (NCC-1712)
- USS Monitor (NCC-1713)
- USS Hornet (NCC-1714)
- USS Merrimac (NCC-1715)
- USS Endeavour (NCC-1716)
- USS Defiant (NCC-1717)4
- USS Excelsior (NCC-1718)
- USS Eagle (NCC-1719)
- USS Lafayette (NCC-1720)
- USS Wasp (NCC-1721)
- USS El Dorado (NCC-1722)
- USS Ari (NCC-1723)
- USS Saratoga (NCC-1724)
- USS Tori (NCC-1725)
- USS Krieger (NCC-1726)
- USS Essex (NCC-1727)
- USS Truxton (NCC-1728)
- USS Confiance (NCC-1729)
- USS Bunker Hill (NCC-1730)
- USS La Vengeance (NCC-1731)
- USS Achernar (NCC-1732)
- USS Sol (NCC-1733)
- USS Jupiter (NCC-1734)
- USS Rigel Kentaurus (NCC-1735)
- USS Quindar (NCC-1736)
- USS Proxima (NCC-1737)
- USS Androcus (NCC-1738)
- USS Astrad (NCC-1739)
- USS Mondoloy (NCC-1740)
- USS Alfr (NCC-1741)
- USS Thelonii (NCC-1742)
- USS Xanthii (NCC-1743)
- USS Sirius (NCC-1744)
Apocrypha appearances Edit
- The Constitution-class was present in the alternate Star Fleet Universe, where it served as the backbone of Starfleet from its inception in the Y120s to the advent of the General War and the related deployment of the Chicago-class New Heavy Cruiser. In the Star Fleet Universe, the Constitution design is descended from the Republic-class cruiser, the first in that universe's Federation fleet to possess the saucer and nacelle configuration. (Some of the older ships were refitted into Constitution-class ships over time, while others became part of the Federation National Guard, protecting the major member worlds.) In time, the advent of more advanced technology resurrected the ship design through the Vincennes-class vessels, a parallel evolution to that seen in the change from the TOS-era Enterprise to the TMP ship design. Notably, a number of the ships referred to in the original series (such as the Hood and the Excalibur) or listed in the Technical Manual (such as the Kongo) are expanded upon in the Star Fleet Universe – but due to the licensing restrictions under which ADB operate, the Enterprise herself is not detailed, though her registry is included.
- A saucer separation has been depicted in the DC Comics Star Trek: Debt of Honor. Here Kirk used "explosive bolts" to sever the connection between the saucer module and the engineering section of the USS Farragut. The same trick was used again in the DC Comics Star Trek: The Mirror Universe Saga, where Kirk and his crew escaped the self-destruction of the ISS Enterprise's engineering section in a last-minute separation. Another Constitution-class ship, the USS Confederate, was shown operating without its saucer section in Marvel Comics Star Trek Unlimited Issue 4; after the crew abandoned the engineering hull via saucer separation due to a failure in an experimental propulsion system upgrade. In the early drafts of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the Enterprise was to separate the saucer. The 2006 Star Trek: Ships of the Line calendar includes a picture of a separated Constitution-class ship, engaging Klingons – or possibly a Klingon ship flown by the Romulans – in battle.
- Constitution-class vessels are prominently featured in fan film productions like Star Trek: Phase II, Starship Exeter, Starship Farragut, and Of Gods and Men.
- The refit version of the Constitution class was still in service in 2409 as a cruiser in the video game Star Trek Online (though the TOS configuration can be purchased into the game as well). The class has also inspired three 24th/25th century successors: the Excalibur, Vesper, and Exeter classes. The TOS configuration comes with Retrofit Fore and Aft Phasers, which are the TV-correct blue phasers. The Exeter class, which is also bought, come with the ability to fire photon torpedoes which can hunt down cloaked targets.
- Constitution-class at Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek works
- Constitution-class at Wikipedia
- Designing the First Enterprise at Forgotten Trek: about Matt Jefferies' design of the Enterprise for The Original Series'
- Designing the Starship Enterprise at the Federation Starship Datalink
- Designing The Motion Picture Enterprise at Forgotten Trek: about the design of the refit Enterprise for The Motion Picture'
- Redesigning the Enterprise at the Federation Starship Datalink
- The Enterprise Refit of 2271 at Ex Astris Scientia: analysis of the several modifications performed on the Constitution class
- Where are the Jefferies Tubes? at Ex Astris Scientia
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