USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A)
This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Picard, and thus may contain spoilers.
United Federation of Planets
(2401)Museum ship at Athan Prime
“My friends, we’ve come home.“
The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) was a Constitution-class vessel operated by Starfleet in the 23rd century. It was the second Federation starship to bear the name Enterprise. After the Enterprise-A was decommissioned and mothballed, it was succeeded by the USS Enterprise-B. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; TNG: “Relics”; Star Trek Generations)
- See: Enterprise history
Externally, the Enterprise-A was virtually identical to the refit USS Enterprise, destroyed several months prior to its launch. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
The bridge was in its customary location on Deck 1. At least three different designs were used during the ship’s service. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
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.
EnterpriseStar Trek V: The Final FrontierStar Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
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. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) The Enterprise could also show tactical views and alerts on the screen along with hails. There were two turbolifts.
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 vaporizing level without an alarm sounding. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
The shuttlebay was located at the rear of the ship’s engineering section. Unlike its predecessor, the shuttlebay of the Enterprise-A was a separate and distinct area from the cargo bay. The ship had at least two 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.
The replicator prop from the Star Trek: The Next Generation senior officers’ quarters was seen in Captain Kirk’s quarters during
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
and contained a set of dishes and flatware. It is not entirely clear whether this device was meant to function like a 24th century replicator as well.
The Enterprise-A had a vertical warp core similar to that of the Galaxy-class of eighty 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. (
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.(Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
This set was a reuse of the USS Enterprise-D conference lounge.
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)
A well-known blooper occurs in
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
when Kirk, Spock, and McCoy rocket past a number of decks while in the turboshaft, labeled inconsistently with 78 as the highest value, 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. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (Special Edition))
In 2286, the Enterprise-A was commissioned at the San Francisco Fleet Yards on stardate 8442.5. It was launched from 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 a “freighter” at best, according to Leonard McCoy or the USS Excelsior, but the new Enterprise was soon revealed, docked next to 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 its 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.
Sybok and 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 it 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 then 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 it before it 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)
Spock also kept a picture of himself and his friends taken on the bridge of the Enterprise-A from this time for the next century until his death in 2263 of the alternate reality. (Star Trek Beyond)
Sometime after the mission to Sha Ka Ree, Commander Sulu transferred off the Enterprise-A, as he was promoted to Captain and be given command of the USS Excelsior. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; PIC: “The Star Gazer” commemorative plaque)
Gaseous anomaly project
In the early 2290s, the Enterprise-A was outfitted with advanced equipment for the study of gaseous planetary anomalies. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
In 2293, the Enterprise-A was due to be retired along with most of its command crew. However, it 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 its 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 prototype 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 its 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. 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 this was the final cruise of the starship Enterprise under his command, commenting, “This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man – where no one – has gone before.” (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
The next USS Enterprise, the refit Excelsior-class USS Enterprise-B, was launched later that year. The Enterprise-A remained mothballed as of 2294. (Star Trek Generations; TNG: “Relics”)
Sometime following its decommissioning, the ship was stationed on display between the USS Voyager and the USS Excelsior at the Fleet Museum at Athan Prime. (Star Trek: Picard season 3 closing credits)
See also: USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) personnel
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.
In the first draft script of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home but not in the final version of that film, the “A” in this Enterprise‘s registry was finished being painted on top of the primary hull just as the shuttle containing Kirk and his senior staff arrived; this scene was retained in the novelization of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Also, the same script described the ship being shown emerging from Spacedock, though that is not depicted on-screen. The scene instead cuts from the vessel being inside Spacedock to being outside the facility, already in space.
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 replaced the gauges and dials formerly seen on the ship. Only the back half of the bridge was modified, the front portion was left unchanged. 
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. (citation needed • edit) 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; 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 (citation needed • edit) 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.
The bridge set was placed in storage at the end of production. It was later turned into the Enterprise-B bridge and the 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. (Star Trek: Captain’s Chair)
While the ship’s history before its recommissioning as Enterprise has never been officially stated, several non-canon sources (such as the AMT/Ertl Model kit documentation) have claimed it to formerly be the USS Yorktown (NCC-1717); others cite it as the newly-built (but not yet commissioned) USS Ti-Ho (NCC-1798), or the also newly-built USS Atlantis (NCC-1786). Captain Scott alludes to the ship being newly built in the ship’s log of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, stating “This new ship must have been built by monkeys“.
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), a Constitution-class II 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”. This unfinished painting was created by Andrew Probert during the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Interactive Technical Manual)
The original refit Enterprise was erroneously labeled as the Enterprise-A in the Star Trek: Short Treks episode “Ephraim and Dot”. Director Michael Giacchino admitted this was a mistake due to a difficult production schedule. 
According to the paperwork with the Bandai model kit, the Enterprise-A was mothballed into Memory Alpha’s museum fleet. Scott’s comments in “Relics” would seem to support this. This was confirmed in the credits sequence of season 3 of Star Trek: Picard, where a display shows the Enterprise-A at the museum alongside the Excelsior and Voyager.
In the comic book “TNG Special 3”, the Enterprise-A was on display at Starbase 122 (β)’s Starfleet museum in 2369 where it was visited by Scott after his rescue from the Dyson Sphere in “Relics”.
According to William Shatner’s novel The Ashes of Eden, the Enterprise-A was sold by Starfleet to the defense forces of the planet Chal (β), who appointed the now-retired James Kirk as its commander. The vessel was later destroyed in the corona of Chal’s sun during a battle with Klingon battle cruisers. These events are later referenced in the novel Cast No Shadow.
The Enterprise-A featured in several computer games set in the motion picture era, including Star Trek: Starfleet Command and Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, as well as a simulated foe in Star Trek: Klingon Academy.
The Enterprise-A was featured in the 2006 video games Star Trek: Encounters and Star Trek: Legacy.