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Was Captain Archer's "Enterprise" ever mentioned or acknowledged on the original series of Star Trek (or any series prior to when "Star Trek: Enterprise" was made)? Even if it wasn't actually mentioned, from the evidence of the earlier (broadcast-wise) shows, is it actually possible that a previous starship called "Enterprise" could exist?

I am wondering whether this was a complete ret-con, and since Kirk's "Enterprise" had no letter following it (and the following ones did), it would seem to suggest that the writers had intended that this was the first of its name.

marked as duplicate by DJClayworth, Community Apr 19 '17 at 14:05

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As @Wikis points out, Archer's Enterprise was an NX-class vessel, whereas the rest of them, including Kirk's, were marked NCC-1701. If you think this doesn't make a difference, consider that there are currently three "USS Enterprise" aircraft carriers (one is currently under construction.) None of them have letters appended, because they use different registry numbers (CV-6, CVN-65 and CVN-80, respectively.)

The only reason why Enterprises after Kirk's first ship had letters appended in the first place is because they insisted on maintaining the same registry number (presumably for sentimental reasons) on successive ships.

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