Skip to main content

See USS Enterprise Morph from Sailing Ship to Starship (Video)

Original Starship Enterprise Model at Air and Space Museum
This model of the USS Enterprise starship was used in the original "Star Trek" TV series, which aired from 1966 to 1969. (Image credit: National Air and Space Museum)

A new video infographic shows off some of the vessels that have borne the name "Enterprise" over the years, from an 18th-century sailing ship to multiple iterations of the famous spacecraft in the fictional "Star Trek" universe.

The 43-second-long video begins with the 85-foot-long (26 meters) oceangoing Enterprise from the 1700s, then progresses to the 825-foot-long (251 m) USS Enterprise aircraft carrier that (among other adventures) served in World War II after receiving an alert at sea that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor.

From there, the video shows the space shuttle Enterprise, a test version of NASA's spaceship that ferried astronauts to and from low-Earth orbit from 1981 through 2011. Enterprise never flew in space, but it performed several glide tests with NASA astronauts at the controls.

Originally, the space shuttle prototype was supposed to be named Constitution, but it was changed to Enterprise after a massive write-in campaign by "Star Trek" fans. Today, the vessel is on display at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Museum in New York City.

Some versions of the USS Enterprise from "Star Trek" shown in the video include Captain James T. Kirk's famed ship (NCC-1701) and its successor (NCC-1701-A); the spacecraft on which Kirk was lost in space (NCC-1701-B); and the versions piloted centuries later by Captain Jean-Luc Picard (NCC-1701-D and NCC-1701-E).

The NCC-1701-E Enterprise measures 2,250 feet (868 m) long and was in service from the years 2372 through 2379, according to the video.

The video was created by, which eBay buyers use to search for items similar to their desired product based on pictures.

“The USS Enterprise has a grand history spanning centuries of exploration. Watch as the famed ship morphs through each iteration!” the PicClick representatives wrote in their description of the video, which you can watch on YouTube:

Follow Elizabeth Howell @howellspace, or @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook and Google+. Originally published on

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Elizabeth Howell
Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is pursuing a Ph.D. part-time in aerospace sciences (University of North Dakota) after completing an M.Sc. (space studies) at the same institution. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @HowellSpace.