Hello and welcome to another episode of Truth OR Myth Beta Canon, a Star Trek web series that dives into the history of any given topic using Beta Canon sources and my own imagination to fill in the gaps. In today’s episode, we’re taking a look at the Enterprise-A, to better understand its place in Star Trek History.
Because this IS a Beta Canon video, all information relaid should pretty much be taken with a grain of stardust, and only considered a little bit of Star Trek Fun! And so, with all that out of the way, let’s begin.
Born out of chaos and destruction, the Enterprise-A would go on to prove herself a worthy successor to the original Constitution Class starship of the same name. But was the history of this historic starship? Well today, we find out…
The Enterprise-A was to be the first of her kind.
The Constitution Class refit design had been a complete success, but again, by the late 2270s, the class was beginning to show its age. This was because Starfleet had been making so many breakthroughs in technology, that newer classes were beginning to run circles around the Federation Power House design. With the USS Excelsior holding Starfleet’s hope for an engine system that would open up the entire Galaxy practically overnight for exploration, Starfleet had to make a choice. Whether to finally decommission the Constitution Class which had served the Federation so well, or once again update the design to conform with Starfleets latest, and perhaps future, technological breakthroughs.
The Constitution Class itself had become somewhat of a symbol for Starfleet and the Federation. Being perceived as a heroic class and the Jewel of Starfleets crown. And even if the Excelsior Class and its new Transwarp Drive were completely successful, Starfleet felt that the citizens of the Federation would not easily give up on the Constitution Class.
So with that logic, Starfleet ordered its design Engineers to update the class once again. Early on it was decided that the overall hull configuration, along with the material the class was constructed in would be the same. The only things that would change, would be internally in the class. So with this as a starting point, Starfleet’s design engineers completely redesigned and reconfigured the internal workings of the class.
With plans drawn up, the next starship scheduled to be constructed of the class, the USS Ti-Ho NCC-1798 was chosen to receive this new upgrade, and its construction commenced in 2281, and should this upgrade be proven successful, Starfleet was then considering upgrading the USS Enterprise herself once again after she returned from her second 5-year mission and a 1-year stint as an academy training vessel. Construction on the Ti-Ho was slow going as several technical problems had to be worked out and solved. Also, with Starfleet Commands eyes focused on Transwarp and its possibilities, Starfleet had instructed its engineers to refit this vessel in such a way that should Transwarp prove viable, then the Constitution Classes own Warp Core and Warp Drive components could be replaced with its Transwarp counterpart easily.
However, by late 2285, The USS Ti-Ho was launched for its first shakedown cruise, and much to the embarrassment of Starfleet Command almost immediately had to be towed back to dry dock when both Main and Auxiliary Power Systems completely failed. After a short troubleshooting session, it was discovered that the new Computer Core installed in the ship had been greatly overestimated in both functionality and ability. Turning to the Daystrom Institute for assistance, they set their best and brightest on the task of building a new computer core that could handle all the new starships systems, and the Daystrom Institute would indeed succeed at that endeavour.
And by the spring of 2286, with the new computer installed, the USS Ti-Ho was once again ready for its shakedown cruise. Since its embarrassing failure, however, Starfleet had been taking a constant beating over the event by the Federation News Service and the Federation Public at large. And so shortly before its launch, Starfleet made the decision to rechristen the starship with a new name, the USS Yorktown. This time, when the starship launched from dry dock, her power systems remained stable, and although several bugs had begun to crop up, specifically with the interaction between the starships new computer core and its newly designed Flat Panel consoles, Starfleet’s engineers felt confident that these bugs could be easily worked out.
That is of course until all hell broke loose for Starfleet and the Planet Earth. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, another space probe was approaching Earth with unknown intent. The USS Saratoga, sent to investigate the probe, had been easily rendered powerless a drift in Space. And so Starfleet diverted all available starships in the area, including the Yorktown, to intercept the probe before it could reach Earth. The alien probe also effortlessly rendered these vessels powerless. Lucky for the USS Yorktown and its crew, the onboard design engineers, we’re able to construct a makeshift solar sail that gave the starship just enough power to keep its life support systems running at a bare minimum.
Meanwhile, after stealing and subsequently destroying the Original Starship USS Enterprise, Admiral James T. Kirk and his command crew were able to stop the Klingon Empire from acquiring the secrets of the genesis Torpedo, as they viewed it, one of the most destructive weapons ever created in their time. And in stopping the Klingons, Admiral Kirk was able to commandeer a Klingon Bird of Prey and resurrect Captain Spock. Taking a 3-month refuge on the Planet Vulcan, the HMS Bounty, the name given by the crew to their captured Klingon Vessel, were on their way home when the Probe reached Earth. Hearing Earth’s planetary distress call, the crew of the Bounty were able to deduce that the signals emanating from the alien probe were not meant for humanity, but rather for an extinct mammalian species, the Humpback Whale.
Using a slingshot manoeuvre around Earth’s Sun, the Bounty then travelled back to Earths past and was able to rescue and bring back 2 humpback whales to 23rd Century. And after a short communication, the Alien probe would leave Earth, quickly restoring all power systems of the planet and of its wayward starships. Given the situation, All charges against Admiral Kirk and his crew were dismissed apart from one. And that charge, disobeying the direct order of a superior officer, was levelled at Admiral Kirk alone.
As a result, Admiral James T. Kirk was demoted from the Rank of Admiral to the Rank of Captain. And as a consequence of his new rank, Captain Kirk would be given the command of a starship. The USS Yorktown meanwhile, had been recalled to Spacedock while Starfleet Command began to sort out the mess that the Alien Probe had caused. And it was then, that Federation President ordered Starfleet Command not only to prepare a starship for Captain Kirk to command but also for it to be a Constitution Class Refit and for it to be renamed the Enterprise-A.
Starfleet Command, also grateful for Captain Kirk and his crew saving Earth, made the decision to once again rename the USS Yorktown to the USS Enterprise. And shortly thereafter, The USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A would leave Spacedock, finally, for the starship to embark again on her shakedown cruise. This shakedown would also be a complete and utter failure.
Though the new Computer Core designed by the Daystrom institute was able to handle all the functions of this new starship, several minor, important problems kept arising with its secondary systems. For example, several of the Enterprises doors would not operate or would open and close at random times. Red and Yellow Alert indicators were buggy. Environmental Control on several decks would go haywire and even the Enterprises Transporter would not function. And so, the Enterprise would return to Spacedock once again, while Captain Montgomery Scott attempted to work out all the bugs on the ship.
Captain Scott had an idea that the interfaces created for the bridge console were responsible for a lot of the technical issues the starship was experiencing. And so Starfleet Command agreed to allow one of the new Bridge Modules being constructed, to be installed as a replacement for the current bridge module the Enterprise held. And in fact, this did solve many of the larger secondary system bugs, though not all of them. And so one by one, Montgomery Scott began to fix the issues.
But when another problem for Starfleet Command arose in the form of a hostage situation on Nimbus III, the Enterprise-A, bugs and all would be pressed back into service. And after the successful resolution of the Hostage Crisis, it would then return once again to Spacedock where finally, all the remaining issues would be solved. Starfleet would then decide to send the Enterprise-A on a year-long shakedown cruise, giving the starship many minor missions in order to ensure its systems were in fact up and running.
And by the end of that year, Starfleet Command would declare the Excelsior Transwarp Project a failure and recall the Enterprise back to Spacedock once again. This time though it was only to make several minor cosmetic changes to the interior look of the starship. Tensions between the Federation, the Klingon and Romulan Empires were beginning to grow again. And so, as a PR and scare tactic, Starfleet decided to give the interiors of their starships a new more militaristic feel.
And by 2288, the USS Enterprise would officially be launched from Spacedock for what would be its first and final 5-year mission. The Constitution Class, and its subsequent refit versions, would come to symbolize Starfleet’s thirst for knowledge through exploration. the USS Enterprise-A, though not as long-serving as the original, would never the less blaze its own trail into the history books, earning this ship its place, in Starfleet History…
Thank you for watching today’s episode of Truth or Myth Beta Canon, did you enjoy the history of the Enterprise-A as I’ve laid out here? Do you want me to create more videos like this one? Or maybe you’d like to see a video on the Beta Canon missions the Enterprise-A undertook? Well leave your comments in the section below and don’t forget to like the video and subscribe to the channel.
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