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USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A)

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USS Enterprise
USS Enterprise-A quarter.jpg

USS Enterprise

Class: Template:ShipClass (refit)
Registry: NCC-1701-A
Owner: United Federation of Planets
Operator: Starfleet
Status: Decommissioned (2293)

"My friends, we've come home."

- James T. Kirk, 2286

The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) was a Federation Template:ShipClass heavy cruiser that was in service with Starfleet in the late 23rd century. This starship became the second Federation ship to bear the name Enterprise.

History

Technical info

Externally, the Enterprise-A was virtually identical to the refit USS Enterprise, destroyed several months prior to the launch.

Constitution class refit bridge 2

Main bridge (2286)

Enterprise-a-bridge-startrek5

Main bridge (2287)

Constitution class refit bridge, 2293

Main bridge (2293)

The bridge was in its customary location on Deck 1. At least three different models were used during the ship's service.

Despite the fact that the Enterprise-A had used all touch-interfaces in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, director Nicholas Meyer insisted that some of the consoles on the bridge be fitted with physical dials and gauges for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Ship's Interior

The bridge was located on Deck 1, at the very top of the saucer section. The large viewscreen could project different views from cameras scattered on the saucer section of the ship. The Enterprise could also show tactical views and alerts on the screen along with hails. There were two turbo lifts.

The torpedo bay was on Deck 13. It was much more automated than on the previous Enterprise, and the torpedo room itself was smaller and enclosed.

No "unauthorized" hand phaser could be fired aboard the ship at a level above stun without an alarm sounding. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Enterprise-A shuttlebay

Shuttlebay (2287)

The shuttlebay was located at the rear of the ship's engineering section. Unlike in her predecessor, the shuttlebay was a separate and distinct area from the cargo bay. The ship had at least two (possibly five) shuttlecraft, including the Galileo and the Copernicus. Normally, a tractor beam guided the shuttle to a landing. A large net barricade could be erected to capture an incoming shuttle which was landing too fast or otherwise disabled. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Constitution class galley

Galley (2293)

Officers had crew quarters similar to those on the previous Enterprise. Enlisted crew members were required to bunk together. As many as eight crew members were assigned to a room, each assigned a storage locker. Chimes sounded at the top of every hour. Meals were prepared in a galley, although there appeared to be primitive replicators on board the ship.

The Enterprise-A had a vertical warp core similar to that of the Template:ShipClass of seventy years later. The core could be accessed through main engineering on Deck 15. An isolation door could be brought down to separate the core from the rest of the ship. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

There was a crew lounge at the front of the ship which contained several maritime relics, including a steering wheel from a sailing vessel inscribed with the ship's motto, "to boldly go where no man has gone before." An emergency transmitter was also located in the lounge. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

The forward observation lounge was intended to be centered on the forward edge of the Enterprise saucer and a visual effect (not developed due to budget limitations) would have shown the whole ship approaching the camera until the room and its occupants were visible through the three large windows. One complication would have been that the movie Enterprise model had no such windows. However, the Enterprise model from The Original Series did have three windows in that location, suggesting a similar observation room on that ship.

The officers had a private dining hall in the saucer section, which was often used to entertain guests. There were several paintings in the room (including a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, a personal hero of James T. Kirk). (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

This set was a reuse of the USS Enterprise-D conference lounge. The Enterprise model has four large windows just below and aft of the bridge on top of the saucer, analogous to the conference room's location on the USS Enterprise-D model. Although the set has six windows, no more than four are visible in any shot in the film.
Turbolift shaft

One of the Enterprise-A's many turbolift shafts (2287)

The brig was located in the bowels of the engineering hull. It was designed to be escape-proof, certified so by Captain Spock. The turbolift shafts were triangular in shape. In addition to the normal corridors, there were full-height Jefferies tubes in the engineering hull. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

An error occurs in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, when Kirk, Spock, and McCoy rocket past 78 decks while in the turboshaft, numbered in increasing order from the bottom of the ship to the top, when the refit-Constitution model had about 21 decks (with deck 1 at the top) and even the much larger Galaxy-class Enterprise-D of Star Trek: The Next Generation only had 42. However, it is quite possible that the many Jefferies tubes were also counted as decks from this turboshaft, perhaps related to the fact that it was closed for maintenance.

In service

USS Enterprise-A in spacedock

The Enterprise-A awaiting launch from spacedock in 2286

In 2286, the Enterprise-A was commissioned at the San Francisco Fleet Yards on stardate 8442.5. She was launched from the Earth Spacedock on the order of the Federation Council in appreciation of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew's efforts to prevent the Whale Probe from devastating Earth. The crew initially thought they were going to be assigned to the USS Excelsior (or, according to Leonard McCoy, a "freighter" at best), but the new Enterprise was soon revealed, docked behind the Excelsior. The crew took their stations and the Enterprise left spacedock on a shakedown cruise. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

The shakedown did not proceed as planned, and the Enterprise limped back to spacedock for several weeks of repair under the supervision of Captain Montgomery Scott. Although her warp drive was working perfectly, half the doors on the ship were malfunctioning and several control interfaces did not work. The transporter was also nonfunctional, requiring shuttles to be used for off-ship missions.

Enterprise-A in orbit of Sha Ka Ree

The Enterprise in orbit of Sha Ka Ree

Before the repairs were complete, the Enterprise was called into duty in order to intervene in a kidnapping situation on Nimbus III. The ship was subsequently commandeered by the rogue Vulcan Sybok, who ordered her to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, in order to pursue the mythical Sha Ka Ree. During the return of Sybok to the ship aboard the Galileo, Commander Hikaru Sulu was forced to crash the shuttle into the Enterprise landing bay, as the ship was pursued by a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, commanded by Klaa, and there was no time to use the tractor beam for a safe entrance. The Bird-of-Prey followed the Enterprise to the center of the galaxy. The crew was too involved with Sybok's visit to the planetoid found there and did not notice the Klingon vessel enter sensor range. The Bird-of-Prey caught the Enterprise off-guard and disabled her before she had a chance to retaliate. However, Klingon ambassador Korrd, rescued from Nimbus III, relieved Captain Klaa and ordered the Bird-of-Prey to stand down. The Klingon crew was later invited to a reception following the return of the Enterprise to Kirk's control and the discovery that Sha Ka Ree was a myth. The brig was also damaged during the mission, as Captain Scott blew a hole in the back wall to free Captain Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Starfleet began a fleet-wide research project into the investigation of gaseous planetary anomalies in the early 2290s. The Enterprise-A was one of several Federation starships to be outfitted with advanced equipment for their study.

Constitution and ktinga

The Enterprise-A escorting the Klingon flagship, Kronos One, in 2293

In 2293, the Enterprise-A was due to be retired along with most of her command crew. However, she was pressed back into service for one last mission as an escort for Klingon chancellor Gorkon during the initial stages of the Khitomer Accords. The ship rendezvoused with the Klingon flagship, Kronos One, and was to follow it to Earth. Unfortunately, a joint Starfleet, Klingon, and Romulan conspiracy had an operative, Lieutenant Valeris, aboard the ship. Valeris participated in a plan to implicate the Enterprise and Captain Kirk as rogue assailants in Gorkon's murder, with the goal of derailing the peace process. The Enterprise appeared to fire two photon torpedoes at Kronos One, temporarily disabling her propulsion and gravity systems. Amid the chaos two space-suited Starfleet crew members, Burke and Samno, beamed aboard, assassinating Gorkon. Valeris altered the ship's records to make it seem as if two torpedoes had been fired. The torpedoes actually came from a cloaked protoype Bird-of-Prey directly below the Enterprise, which had been modified to fire while cloaked.

Kirk and Dr. McCoy were arrested and tried for the murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment on the penal colony Rura Penthe. Valeris also provided Kirk's log entries from the Enterprise to the Klingon co-conspirators to further implicate Kirk. The Enterprise was ordered back to Earth, but Spock ignored orders and initiated an investigation aboard the ship. He discovered evidence which linked Valeris to the conspiracy, despite her best efforts to sabotage the investigation. The Enterprise then entered Klingon space, masquerading as the freighter Ursva and rescued Kirk and McCoy. Spock mind melded with Valeris and learned more about the conspiracy, including details of the Bird-of-Prey and names of those involved. Captain Sulu aboard the USS Excelsior provided Kirk with the new location of the peace conference, and the two ships warped to Khitomer in order to prevent a second assassination of the Federation President and the new Klingon chancellor, Azetbur.

USS Enterprise-A hull breach

The hull breached

General Chang was waiting in orbit with his Bird-of-Prey, however, and the Enterprise was attacked upon arrival. The starship was seriously damaged and suffered a hull breach through her saucer section. The Excelsior, too, was helpless against the cloaked ship. Fortunately, Spock, McCoy, and Uhura devised a plan to use a photon torpedo equipped with sensors capable of tracking ionization from the Bird-of-Prey's impulse engines. It successfully hit Chang's vessel, knocking it out of the cloak and leaving it vulnerable to further torpedo volleys from the Enterprise and the Excelsior. Following the destruction of the Bird-of-Prey, Enterprise and Excelsior crew beamed down to the Khitomer Conference and apprehended the conspirators, preventing the assassination. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

USS Enterprise-A leaves Khitomer

"Second star to the right...and straight on 'till morning".

Following the Khitomer mission, the Enterprise was ordered by Starfleet Command to return to spacedock to be decommissioned. In spite of this, Captain Kirk ordered the ship on course to the "second star to the right, ...and straight on 'til morning." Kirk later recorded in his log that the Enterprise and her history "will shortly become the care of another crew." The next USS Enterprise, the Template:ShipClass USS Enterprise-B, was launched later that year. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek Generations)


Personnel

Senior staff

Appendices

Appearances

Background information

The Enterprise-A was a reuse of the refit Enterprise model built for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The ship was designed by Andrew Probert and Richard Taylor, partly based on Matt Jefferies and Mike Minor's design sketches for Star Trek: Phase II. Other artists who worked on the refit design were Joe Jennings, Douglas Trumbull, and Harold Michelson. Michelson also designed the sets for the first film, which were altered to become those of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The bridge seen in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was a simple redress of the existing bridge from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. It was painted white and the lighting scheme was slightly altered. In addition, okudagrams now replaced the gauges and dials formerly seen on the ship. Only the portions of the bridge seen on film were modified; the rest of the bridge was left unchanged to save time.

By Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, most of the movie Enterprise sets had been recycled to become the Enterprise-D of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The bridge had been irrevocably modified as various Starfleet bridges seen throughout the series, including the Enterprise-D battle bridge, and also became several science labs and alien interiors. A new bridge was constructed under supervision of production designer Herman Zimmerman, who wanted to show a transition to the TNG era by introducing carpet and warmer tones to the bridge. The turbolift alcoves were the only parts saved from the previous set, as they were removed during TNG's second season. Other Enterprise-D sets were reused for the film, specifically sickbay, the transporter room, and the corridors, in order to save money. Unfortunately, much of the signage and graphics were left in place, and TNG-style door labels and control panels can be seen on the sets.

According to Michael and Denise Okuda's text commentary for the Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Special Edition) DVD, the shuttlebay doors as seen in The Final Frontier were modified from a portion of the Zamundan Royal Palace set from the 1988 Eddie Murphy film Coming to America.

The new bridge was reused in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country for both the Enterprise and the Excelsior, with some modifications. Director Nick Meyer wanted to give the vessels a much more militaristic feel, and incorporated metal flooring and some tactile control surfaces. Enterprise-D sets were used for engineering, sickbay, the transporter room, the officers' mess, Kirk's and Spock's quarters, and the corridors, but they were disguised better for this film, undergoing several changes. This explains why some of the TNG sets were noticeably altered at the start of the fifth season. The bridge set was placed in storage at the end of production. It was later turned into the Enterprise-B bridge and Amargosa observatory for Star Trek Generations, the Excelsior again in "Flashback", and many "guest" Starfleet ships on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, including the USS Prometheus (VOY: "Message in a Bottle") and the USS Equinox. (VOY: "Equinox") The turbolift alcoves eventually became part of the USS Enterprise-E bridge in Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek Nemesis as well as an Enterprise-D turbolift in "These Are the Voyages...".

Sickbay painting

The Enterprise-A on a painting aboard the Enterprise-D

According to Gene Roddenberry, the NCC-1701-A was not a newly-constructed ship, but instead was the renamed USS Yorktown, a nod to the name of the starship in his original pitch for Star Trek. This was based on the fact that it was difficult to believe that Starfleet would build a whole new ship in such a short time, and then decommission it a short while after, and the early retirement of the Enterprise-A could be justified if the ship had been in service for many years under another name.

Mr. Scott's Guide to the Enterprise, released shortly after Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, cites the origin of NCC-1701-A as the USS Ti-Ho (NCC-1798), an Enterprise-class starship which was a test bed for transwarp technology alongside the USS Excelsior. The Ti-Ho was rechristened Enterprise after Kirk and his crew were exonerated.

The model of the Enterprise-A (lot #1000) was sold at the 40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection auction on 7 October 2006 for US$240,000.

The Enterprise-A was pictured on a painting in the waiting area of the sickbay aboard the USS Enterprise-D in the Star Trek: The Next Generation fifth season episode "Ethics".

Apocrypha

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