The Evolution of the Enterprise: From the Revolutionary War to Star Trek

Today is the 50th anniversary of the USS Enterprise CVN-65, the first nuclear powered aircraft carrier. Her first crucial role was in the Cuban Missile Crisis blockade, as part of the 2nd Fleet, in October 1962.

The CVN-65 is the eighth US ship to bear the Enterprise name, following the Yorktown-class aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, the most decorated naval vessel in the United States and one of the key ships in the Battle of Midway.


Still in active service, the Enterprise CVN-65 is 1,123-feet long, which makes it the longest navy ship in the world. However, overall its smaller than the ten Nimitz-class supercarrier at 93,284 long tons.

This time line—made by Huntington Ingalls Industries, a defense company that builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard—shows the evolution of all the Enterprises, from the 1775 original—captured by Colonel Benedit Arnold to the British—to the 2245 Federation ship. Gene Roddenberry decided to use the name Enterprise when he created the series in 1966, inspired by the nuclear carrier that is now 50 years old. [Huntington Ingalls Industries]


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