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Old January 22 2014, 07:26 AM   #1
Brannigan
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Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

As a hobby I like to draw and recently I have begun to draw the USS Hornet CV-12 (docked and open for tours at the former Alameda Naval base, home of the nuclear wessels). As I was researching her and her sisters I found that while they had relatively long life spans (Hornet herself was commissioned in 1943 and decommissioned in 1970), many of the carriers spent a great deal of their lives laid up or in reserve fleets. (Again Hornet was mothballed from 1970 until being released as a museum in 1998).
This got me thinking: was USS Enterprise actually commissioned and active for all of her roughly 40 years (barring rebuilding times)? Of all the Star Trek Enterprises, hull 1701 seems to have had the longest life. I understand that Enterprise CVN-65 was active continuously from 1960 until her 2013 decommissioning , although this may be an exception. My answer is no and I've compiled a rough outline of what her history might have been like: (please feel free to disagree).
2245-most sources agree this is the date of the ship's launch. Assuming that a launch date is the same as it is in ocean going vessels, this does not assume that the ship was ready for service in 2245. I give the ship about a year and a half fitting out period, putting her ready for commissioning in 2247.
2247-Robert April overseas her trial runs and early missions, beginning her first five year mission.
2253-Enterprise is laid up for the first time. Having traveled thousands of light years in five years with the assumption that the ship returned to earth no more than once, it was overhauled minimally at different starbases, but was not given a full refit. As newer Constitution class ships entered service, Enterprise and her outdated components were not seen as needed. Alternatively political events may have cooled and much like the US Navy's Essex class carriers there was no need for such a large fleet of ships at the time.
2253-2258-Enterprise laid up
2259-Enterprise reactivated. The high number of hull losses meant Starfleet needed to reactivate older ships. An upgrade and overhaul of systems brings the ship up to date and Christopher Pike takes Enterprise out on her second five year mission.
2259-2264-Pike's five year mission (Cage events take place near the end of the mission)
2265-Enterprise returns for a minor overhaul and returned to Service under Captain Kirk. At this time the ship is 20 years old and Starfleet is considering the future of the class. The last new build Constitution sub classes are commissioned (Defiant namely) with improved systems. A replacement capitol ship (unknown) is rejected and Starfleet forges ahead with the Excelsior program. Tensions with the Klingon Empire prompt discussions of continuing the life of the Constitution class.
2265-2270-Kirk's five year mission
2270-Enterprise puts in for her first major refit that sees the ship radically altered. 18 months later, in late 2271 she reemerges a new ship.
2271-2276-Kirk's second five year mission
2276-Following Enterprises first five year mission as a "new" ship Starfleet decides to lay her up again. New builds render her obsolete. The crew is dispersed, etc.
2281-Starfleet recommissions Enterprise as an advanced training ship. Her automatic weapons controls are largely removed (thus we see manual torpedo loading in TWOK) and her interior is reconfigured for training cruises. 6 months of every year the ship takes a group of cadets out on deep space training. It is during one of these routine missions that the ship is called into action against a renegade ship and nearly destroyed. Starfleet makes the decision to decommission the ship, which is now 40 years old and outclassed by the newer Excelsior, her replacement.
We know the rest of the story: Enterprise is never allowed to be decommissioned and is instead destroyed in battle.
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Old January 22 2014, 08:13 AM   #2
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

I have no problem with the original Enterprise having a lifespan of 40 years. However, I felt that every Enterprise after the original had ridiculously short lifespans. I also wasn't all that crazy about the 20 year absence of an Enterprise between the C and the D.
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Old January 22 2014, 08:28 AM   #3
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

Dukhat wrote: View Post
I have no problem with the original Enterprise having a lifespan of 40 years. However, I felt that every Enterprise after the original had ridiculously short lifespans. I also wasn't all that crazy about the 20 year absence of an Enterprise between the C and the D.
Same here. If nothing else, (~) 40 year operational life should be more the norm than not.
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Old January 22 2014, 08:35 AM   #4
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

^The Galaxy class is supposed to have an operational lifetime of 100 years. The Enterprise-D lasted for a whopping 7, just so Brannon could get his jollies seeing the saucer crash on a planet.
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Old January 22 2014, 09:56 AM   #5
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

Since there is nothing to say otherwise, I generally assume that the Constitution-Class was designed for five-year missions as standard, with refit time between each one. So how I look at the Enterprise's lifetime is:
2245-2250 - First tour, under command of Robert April
2250-2251 - Refit
2251-2256 - Second tour, under command of Christopher Pike
2256-2258 - Refit
2258-2263 - Third tour, under command of Christopher Pike
2263-2265 - Refit
2265-2270 - Fourth tour, under command of James Kirk
2270-2272 - Full overhaul
2272-2277 - Fifth tour, under command of James Kirk (originally planned for Willard Decker)
2277-2278 - Refit
2278-2285 - ??? (there may have been a sixth tour before the ship was reassigned to the Academy as a training cruiser)
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Old January 22 2014, 10:34 AM   #6
F. King Daniel
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

If 5-year missions were the norm, Spock wouldn't have served with Pike for 13 years but 10 or 15. I like the idea that the 5YM was something unique, that the other starships were doing patrols of Federation space and "space law regulation" while Kirk was sent out to explore uncharted territory.

I put the official launch of the Enterprise in 2245, but her construction being complete in 2243 as per the VOTI timeline, at least in so much for the events of Diane Carey's Final Frontier* to take place (adjusted from the original SFC date of 2188)

*or something like them, using the broad strokes/foggy window approach
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Old January 22 2014, 02:07 PM   #7
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

Oops...when I saw the thread title I thought this was a reference to The Making of Star Trek according to which the members of the Enterprise Starship Class had already been 40 years in service by the time of TOS!

Fact is that the ship sustained heavy damage in the second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before" and next (the VFX model) underwent some noticable design changes, thus I never really dismissed the possibility that the "new" Enterprise seen in "The Corbomite Maneuver" could have been a new ship.

From a retroactive point of view that could explain Admiral Morrow's "20 years old" remark in ST III (though I still think that was a stupid line. Khan had severely damaged the Enterprise in TWOK, so if Harve Bennett wanted a plausible reason to have her decommissioned he should have better taken another look at the previous film...)

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Old January 22 2014, 05:45 PM   #8
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

Dukhat wrote: View Post
I have no problem with the original Enterprise having a lifespan of 40 years.
Same here.
However, I felt that every Enterprise after the original had ridiculously short lifespans.
Personally, I go with the Enterprise-B was around the longest, about 50 years, and had several different captains and crews during her time.
I also wasn't all that crazy about the 20 year absence of an Enterprise between the C and the D.
I favor the idea that the fairly new Enterprise-C was the only starship with the name to be lost with all hands aboard and that Starfleet wasn't quick to replace her so fast. At the same time, Starfleet wanted the public to know that the Enterprise would live on by announcing that one of the still-in-the-idea phase Galaxy-class ships would be the Enterprise-D.
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Old January 22 2014, 08:00 PM   #9
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

Dukhat wrote: View Post
^The Galaxy class is supposed to have an operational lifetime of 100 years. The Enterprise-D lasted for a whopping 7, just so Brannon could get his jollies seeing the saucer crash on a planet.
Don't put it all on Brannon. Ron Moore (stupidly) thought it would be a good idea too.

And yeah, I hated that decision also, but it was easily fixed. The Enterprise-E could have been another Galaxy class ship, just like, when Kirk lost his first one, they gave him an identical replacement. The same could have happened to Picard. That way, Moore and Braga could have had their jollies, and we could continue to have the best starship design Star Trek ever had. It would have been cheaper to the production too. All the modelmakers would have had to do was slap an "E" sticker over the "D".

But no, instead we're stuck with the ugliest starship ever put out.

Whatever.
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Old January 22 2014, 08:33 PM   #10
Robert Comsol
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

RandyS wrote: View Post
It would have been cheaper to the production too. All the modelmakers would have had to do was slap an "E" sticker over the "D".
Quite right, and there could have been an opportunity to explore some of the areas aboard the Enterprise-D we never saw in TNG.

RandyS wrote: View Post
But no, instead we're stuck with the ugliest starship ever put out.
I thought that was the one before, not after the "D".

Bob
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Old January 22 2014, 08:34 PM   #11
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

RandyS wrote: View Post
Dukhat wrote: View Post
^The Galaxy class is supposed to have an operational lifetime of 100 years. The Enterprise-D lasted for a whopping 7, just so Brannon could get his jollies seeing the saucer crash on a planet.
Don't put it all on Brannon. Ron Moore (stupidly) thought it would be a good idea too.

And yeah, I hated that decision also, but it was easily fixed. The Enterprise-E could have been another Galaxy class ship, just like, when Kirk lost his first one, they gave him an identical replacement. The same could have happened to Picard. That way, Moore and Braga could have had their jollies, and we could continue to have the best starship design Star Trek ever had. It would have been cheaper to the production too. All the modelmakers would have had to do was slap an "E" sticker over the "D".

But no, instead we're stuck with the ugliest starship ever put out.

Whatever.
They were flat-out ordered by the producers to destroy the D, in in small part because the D was designed for television aspect ratios (being about as tall as she was wide/long) rather than film.
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Old January 22 2014, 08:46 PM   #12
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

Manticore wrote: View Post
They were flat-out ordered by the producers to destroy the D, in in small part because the D was designed for television aspect ratios (being about as tall as she was wide/long) rather than film.




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Old January 22 2014, 09:21 PM   #13
C.E. Evans
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

RandyS wrote: View Post
The Enterprise-E could have been another Galaxy class ship, just like, when Kirk lost his first one, they gave him an identical replacement. The same could have happened to Picard. That way, Moore and Braga could have had their jollies, and we could continue to have the best starship design Star Trek ever had. It would have been cheaper to the production too. All the modelmakers would have had to do was slap an "E" sticker over the "D".
They actually did, not knowing what the producers had in mind for Star Trek VIII at the time.
http://static4.wikia.nocookie.net/__...laxy_class.jpg
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Old January 22 2014, 10:37 PM   #14
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
If 5-year missions were the norm, Spock wouldn't have served with Pike for 13 years ...
Nothing says that all the time Pike and Spock served together was aboard the Enterprise.

Lot's of other ships in the fleet, plus ground assignments.

They were together on the Enterprise thirteen years prior to Court Martial, and Kirk met
Pike when he became Captain of the ship, in canon there indication that Pike was the ship's Capatin immediately before Kirk.


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Old January 22 2014, 11:36 PM   #15
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Re: Was NCC-1701 active for 40 years?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
RandyS wrote: View Post
The Enterprise-E could have been another Galaxy class ship, just like, when Kirk lost his first one, they gave him an identical replacement. The same could have happened to Picard. That way, Moore and Braga could have had their jollies, and we could continue to have the best starship design Star Trek ever had. It would have been cheaper to the production too. All the modelmakers would have had to do was slap an "E" sticker over the "D".
They actually did, not knowing what the producers had in mind for Star Trek VIII at the time.
http://static4.wikia.nocookie.net/__...laxy_class.jpg
That's actually pretty cool....
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