The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) was the second Federation starship to carry that name. She was constructed at the San Francisco Fleet Yards and commissioned at the Earth Spacedock facility in 2286.
Externally, the Enterprise-A was virtually identical to the refit USS Enterprise, destroyed several months prior to the launch. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)The bridge was in its customary location on Deck 1. At least three different modules were used during the ship's service. They were the first bridges on a ship named Enterprise to almost completely use touch sensitive control interfaces. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)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)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)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 Galaxy-class 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 officers had a private dining hall in the saucer section, which was often used to entertain guests. There were several paintings in the room. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)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)http://
In 2286, the Enterprise-A was launched at 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, 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 broken and several control interfaces did not work. The transporter was also nonfunctional, requiring shuttles to be used.
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 for a regular landing. 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.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, and in the chaos two space-suited Starfleet officers beamed aboard, assassinating Gorkon. Valeris altered the ship's records to make it seem as if two torpedoes had been fired and also found two crewmembers, Burke and Samno, to act as the assassins. The torpedoes actually came from a cloaked 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.
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)
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 Excelsior-class USS Enterprise, was launched later that year. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek Generations)
- USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) personnel
- Commanding officer
- Captain James T. Kirk
- First officer/executive officer and science officer
- Captain Spock
- Chief medical officer
- Commander Leonard McCoy
- Chief engineer
- Captain Montgomery Scott
- Commander Hikaru Sulu (2286-2290)
- Lieutenant Valeris (2293)
- Commander Pavel Chekov
- Communications officer
- Commander Uhura
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