The USS Enterprise NCC-1701 was launched in 2245 and was one of at least twelve heavy cruiser-type Constitution-class starships that were commissioned by the United Federation of Planets Starfleet. The Enterprise was constructed at the San Francisco Fleet Yards in San Francisco, California. The vessel was registered NCC-1701 and was christened with the name Enterprise after a long lineage of sea-faring and space-faring vessels.
The Enterprise was designed by Starfleet engineer Lawrence Marvick and others while Captain Robert April oversaw the Enterprise's construction and the installation of the ship's components as well as its initial trial runs. His wife, Sarah April, designed several of the sickbay's instruments while Doctor Richard Daystrom designed its computer systems.
The USS Enterprise was launched on April 11, 2245, under the command of Captain Robert April with his wife Sarah serving as the ship's first chief medical officer, and Christopher Pike serving as Captain April's first officer. April Commanded the Enterprise through it's first 5 year mission from 2245-2250.
At age 38 Chistopher Pike, now a Captain,took command of the USS Enterprise in 2250 and commanded her through it's second and third 5 year missions between 2252 & 2262.
The Enterprise had a crew of 430, 14 science labs, an observation deck, a massive lower deck which included main engineering, and a shuttle bay. The ship's armaments included forward phaser banks and photon torpedoes.
In 2265 Captain James Tyberius Kirk, the youngest Captain in Starfleet at the time,took over command of the Enterprise from Captain Pike & was Captain of the Enterprise through another 5 year mission from 2265-2270.
In 2270, after a very historical and successful 5 year mission, the Enterprise returned to earth. Captain Kirk accepted a promotion to Chief of Starfleet Operations,and recommended Will Decker to replace him as Captain of the Enterprise while the ship underwent an extensive refit at the San Francisco Fleet Yards.
In the mid-2270s, "V'ger", an energy cloud assimilating information from (and destroying) objects in its path, threatened Earth. The only starship positioned to intercept it was the Enterprise, her refit nearly complete but still awaiting trial runs. After convincing Admiral Nogura that he was the best man to meet the threat, Kirk rushed the Enterprise into service, assuming the rank of captain for the duration of the mission. Following the success of this mission, Kirk commanded the Enterprise into the mid-to-late 2270s.
In 2284 with Kirk supervising command-track cadets at Starfleet Academy, now Captain Spock was given command of the Enterprise & Admiral Kirk joined him as an observer to a cadet training cruise. A conflict with an old nemesis (Khan Noonien Singh) of Kirk's developed after Khan stole a planet terraforming technology called the "Genesis Project" to use it as a weapon. Because of the training mission becoming an active duty mission, Spock gave command of the Enterprise to Admiral Kirk until the situation had been resolved. In an ensuing battle with Khan, The Enterprise was seriously damaged,nearly destroyed and Captain Spock gave his life to save his ship and crew. When the Enterprise returned to space dock after narrowly winning the battle with Khan, it was decided by Starfleet that rather than being repaired, the now 20 year old Enterprise would be decommissioned.
In an attempt to resurrect his friend, Admiral Kirk stole the Enterprise and returned to the Genesis planet. A Klingon Bird-of-Prey's attack left the Enterprise disabled. After setting an auto-destruct sequence, Kirk and his crew abandoned the ship for the surface. The Enterprise was destroyed, taking a Klingon boarding party along with it. Finding Spock's body reanimated by Genesis, Kirk took the Bird-of-Prey to Vulcan, where Spock's katra and body were reunited.
After disobeying direct orders from a superior officer for stealing the Enterprise, Admiral Kirk was reduced in rank to Captain. However,after saving the Earth from a planet wide,man made emergency, he was assigned to another Constitution-class starship, the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A), in 2286. He commanded the Enterprise-A for the next seven years.
In 2293, Kirk permanently retired from Starfleet and the Enterprise-A and it's legacy were passed on to the next generation of Starfleet officers and crews.