Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
And I do like the 'U.E.S.' designation for Earth Starfleet ships (though I think NCC sounds better as a registry prefix). I always wondered why Earth Starfleet vessels had no prefix - just the name.
Out-universe, I assume it was Braga and Berman wanting to find a way to set the NX-01 apart from the Federation Enterprise
In-universe, I suppose it's akin to the fact that, for instance, the U.S. space shuttle orbiters never had any sort of prefixes. It was just the Space Shuttle Atlantis
, not the USSS Atlantis
I actually think the first U there does stand for "United Earth" in Archer's time, whereas in Kirk's ship it stands for "United Federation of Planets". It's just that both the S'es also have a raison d'etre: the first is "Star Fleet" and the second is "Star Ship". UESFSS would be a mouthful, let alone UFPSFSS, so the shorter forms get used.
For my money, Federation starships ought to have either the prefix "UFS" for "United Federation Starship," or "FS," for "Federation Starship." (Or maybe "FSS," for "Federation Star-Ship," if we decide we like three letters over two but don't want to use the phrase "United Federation.")
(In Season Four, didn't we get some display graphics showing "USS Enterprise" despite there never being extra letters in the actual pennants?)
A graphic in "Affliction" showing Columbia
's matching Enterprise
's runaway warp run called them "USS Enterprise" and "USS Columbia." IIRC, someone from the ENT Art Department said this was a mistake made in the rush of production.