The Enterprise (NX-01) is a fictional starship in the science fiction television series Star Trek: Enterprise. It is commanded by Captain Jonathan Archer.
Commissioned in 2151, Enterprise was the first starship of the NX class, with a crew complement of 86. Enterprise was Starfleet's first long-range exploration vessel with a theoretical top speed of warp 5.2 by the fourth to last episode of the 4th season, considerably faster than any other Human vessels of the era.
Captain Archer made first contact with the Suliban, Tholians, Klingons, and Xindi, among others, although few of these encounters were peaceful. Enterprise established Earth's 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.
Enterprise was pivotal in defending Earth from a dangerous alliance of five alien races from the planet Xindus known as the Xindi in 2153 through 2154. The ship suffered severe damage several times during the mission and the crew suffered heavy casualties, but managed to return home after an unexpected detour to an alternate version of 1944 in which Nazi Germany had conquered much of 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.
The NX-01 utilizes the dual-nacelle design that was first employed by Zefram Cochrane's Phoenix from the film Star Trek: First Contact.
It was originally armed with pulse cannons, which were only used once during the pilot episode "Broken Bow", and Triton-class spatial torpedoes. The ship was protected by polarized hull plating.
Later upgrades saw the Enterprise fitted with more powerful weapons, with plasma cannons being replaced by three phase cannons rated for a maximum power output of 500 cochranes and the spatial torpedoes with photonic torpedoes. These new weapons systems were still in the experimental stage. Unlike vessels in other versions of Star Trek, Enterprise was not equipped with defensive energy shielding (shields were still in development). Instead, Enterprise added to the defensive power of the (fictional) duranium hull through electromagnetic polarization, a form of reactive armor. This defensive system was upgraded by Starfleet during the NX-01's refit following the Xindi attack on Earth ("The Expanse").
The front of the saucer section is equipped with a "deflector" that protects the ship from space dust and other particles that would otherwise cause significant damage at impulse, or even cruising speeds. A grappling hook was used for purposes more commonly served by a tractor beam in other science fiction series.
The Enterprise carried two shuttlepods named Shuttlepods One and Two. It also had a 22nd century version of Star Trek's signature transporter authorized for biological transportation; however, it was used sparingly in the first two years of the ship's mission due to crew fears over the dangers of its use. The transporter came into more common use during and after the mission to the Delphic Expanse.
Enterprise is unable to maintain its top speed of warp 5 for an extended period of time and normally travels at warp 4.5. The vessel achieved warp 5 for the first time during the first season episode "Fallen Hero". In the fourth season episode "Babel One", Enterprise exceeded Warp 5 for the first time, achieving warp 5.06 thanks to newly-installed injectors; in the later episode "Affliction", a maximum speed of warp 5.2 was achieved.