Enterprise (NX-01)

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The starship Enterprise (NX-01)
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The starship Enterprise (NX-01)

The Enterprise (NX-01) is a starship in the Star Trek fictional universe commanded by Captain Jonathan Archer. It is the primary setting of the television series Star Trek: Enterprise, and is the earliest Starship Enterprise officially recognized in the Trek canon.

Commissioned in 2151, Enterprise NX-01 was the first starship of the NX class, Starfleet's first long-range exploration vessels with top speeds of warp 5, considerably faster than any other human vessels of the era. The vessel actually achieved a speed of Warp 5 for the first time during the first season episode "Fallen Hero" (previously the vessel had not been taken past Warp 4.5). In the fourth season episode, "Babel One", Enterprise exceeded Warp 5 for the first time, achieving a maximum speed of Warp 5.06 thanks to newly-installed injectors. In a later episode, "Affliction", a maximum speed of Warp 5.2 was identified, although the ship is not able to keep up this speed for long.

Enterprise established a human presence in previously uncharted regions of space, bringing together the Andorians and Vulcans—two species who had been on the verge of war for years.

Captain Archer made first contact with the Suliban, Tholians, Klingons, and Romulans, among others, although few of these encounters were peaceful.

The NX-01 was originally armed with plasma cannon and torpedo launchers loaded with Triton-class high explosive rounds, and protected by polarized hull plating. Later upgrades saw the Enterprise being turned into a military vessel, with the plasma cannon being replaced by Phase Cannons and the Triton warheads with photonic torpedoes. These new weapons systems were still in the experimental stage. Unlike vessels in later eras, Enterprise was not equipped with a defesive energy shielding array (this technology was still experimental among Earth sciences). Instead, Enterprise added to the defensive power of thier duranium hull through electromagnetic polarization. Shielding techonogly was most likely adapted to Earth vessels after the Andorians joined Earth in the United Federation of Planets in 2161.

The starship Enterprise was pivotal in defending Earth from a dangerous alien species known as the Xindi in 2153-2154. The ship suffered severe damage during the mission and the crew suffered heavy casualties, but managed to return to Earth after an unexpected detour to an alternate version of 1944 in which Nazi Germany had conquered the eastern United States; although the vessel did not land during that mission, it was brought within tens of meters from the ground in order to help restore the timeline.

A second warp 5 starship, Columbia NX-02, was launched in November of 2154. It is commanded by Captain Erika Hernandez. According to the episode "Fortunate Son", two additional NX class ships were planned as of 2151 but no details of these vessels have yet been revealed.

The development of Warp 7-capable ships rendered the NX-class obsolete and, in 2161, Enterprise was decommissioned soon after the signing of the United Federation of Planets charter. However, it should be noted that the explicit reason for the decommissioning of Enterprise is not actually stated on screen and it is not known if her sister ship, Columbia (NX-02) or the other two planned NX vessels were also retired at the same time.

The NX-01 is somewhat unique among lead Star Trek vessels in that during the vessel's 10-year service history it retained its original command crew and captain at the end of its voyage (save for its chief engineer, who died shortly before the decommissioning). Two centuries later, Deanna Troi recalled that she visited an NX-class starship in a museum when she was a child, but she couldn't remember if it was Enterprise or not.

Alternate timelines

In an alternate timeline, the NX-01 failed to prevent the Xindi from building a superweapon capable of destroying entire worlds. Earth and all its colonies were destroyed while Starfleet waged a desperate, hopeless war to protect them. The ragtag wagon train of human survivors made their final stand on the world Ceti Alpha V, shepherded by three remaining Starfleet ships: Enteprise, Intrepid, and Sydney. Enterprise was lost with all hands during the final stand, however this timeline was negated (as chronicled in the episode "Twilight").

In another alternate timeline, Enterprise encountered an anomaly that threw it back in time more than a century. Unable to return to Earth, the vessel became a generational ship, eventually falling under the command of Lorian, the son of T'Pol and Trip Tucker, who eventually intercepted Archer and prevented the NX-01 from being sent back in time. It is assumed that the so-called E2 was wiped from existence but there are hints it might have survived.

Mirror Universe

A Mirror Universe version of the NX-01 called the I.S.S. Enterprise appeared in the fourth season two-parter, In a Mirror, Darkly. This version of the vessel had different markings, including yellow markings on the dorsal surface of the saucer section, but was essentially identical to the NX-01, with the exception that it was equipped in 2155 by the mirror Charles Tucker with a cloaking device obtained from the Suliban. In terms of speed, it is not known whether this version of the ship was capable of higher speeds than the NX-01, although dialogue suggests that its maximum speed was less than Warp 7. This vessel was under the command of Captain Maximilian Forrest until Commander Jonathan Archer assumed command through a mutiny. Forrest soon regained control of the vessel, but it was destroyed by Tholians soon after, along with most of its crew. The only survivors were a limited number of people in escape pods that weren't destroyed by the Tholian.

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