Registry: USS Enterprise / NCC-1701
First Seen On: Star Trek (TV series: 1966-1969)
This version — designed by Star Trek art director Matt Jeffries — was a revelation when it was first introduced into living rooms all over America. Unlike the missile-like rocket-ship of 1950s sci-fi, Captain Kirk’s starship was at once an elegant and weird looking behemoth. Jeffries had a vision of what a 23rd-century spacecraft might look like, and decided that form would follow function. He put the warp nacelles on V-shaped stems far away from the bulk of the ship, to minimize danger to the crew; he kept the exterior smooth, putting all the ships workings on the inside to reduce the need for maintenance crew members to space-walk.
Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry had given Jeffries wide range during the design process, and the two later decided it should be a Constitution class ship, giving it the official designation NCC 1701. The NCC was meant to sound naval, and 1701 reportedly references the 17th round of ship designs by Starfleet — with the Enterprise being the first to be commissioned — and, as Jeffries supposedly said, it’s easy to read from afar.