U.S.S. Excelsior. The first starship of the Excelsior class, built at the San Francisco Fleet Yards on Earth. The vessel was launched in 2284 on stardate 8105.5 with a registry number NX-2000. The ship was first commanded by Captain Styles, and was the testbed vehicle for the unsuccessful transwarp drive development project. (STAR TREK III: The Search For Spock).
In 2287 the ship was fitted with standard warp drive, redesignated as an exploratory vessel and given the registry designation NCC-2000. Captain Hikaru Sulu assumed command of the Starship Excelsior in 2290 and he began a three-year mission aboard her cataloging planetary atmospheric anomalies in the Beta Quadrant. Upon successful completion of this mission in 2293, the crew of the Excelsior encountered a subspace shock wave resulting from the accidental destruction of the Klingons' chief energy-producing moon, Praxis. Captain Sulu communicated with the Klingons and offered them assistance. This offer was refused. A short while later Klingon Chancellor Gorkon was assassinated and Captain James Kirk and Dr. McCoy were accused of the crime and were taken to the Klingon Homeworld to be tried. (STAR TREK VI: The Undiscovered Country).
Against Starfleet orders, Captain Sulu decided to mount a rescue of Kirk and McCoy. Junior science officer Ensign Tuvok confronted Captain Sulu about the breach of orders but to no avail. To conceal the Excelsior's approach to Qo'noS, Sulu ordered the Excelsior through the Azure Nebula. It was there that he encountered a Klingon Battle Cruiser commanded by Captain Kang who insisted on escorting the Excelsior out of the nebula. To evade Kang, Sulu ordered that the volatile sirillium gas contained in the nebula be ignited. Once away from Kang's ship, three more Klingon Battlecruisers appeared and engaged the Excelsior. In the ensuing battle, junior science officer Lieutenant Dmitri Valtane was fatally injured. Captain Sulu aborted the rescue mission and retreated back to Federation space. ("Flashback" [VGR]).
Captain Sulu and the Excelsior later played a key role in the Khitomer Peace Conference of 2293 by assisting the U.S.S. Enterprise-A in its battle with General Chang's prototype Bird-of-Prey and by preventing the assassination of Klingon Chancellor Azetbur. (STAR TREK VI: The Undiscovered Country).
Some years later in 2370, the Excelsior, presumably under the command of a different captain, assisted the U.S.S. Nobel in the ultimately unsuccessful search and rescue mission for the U.S.S. Hera. ("Interface" [TNG])
The Excelsior-class ship was designed by Bill George and the model was built at Industrial Light and Magic.
Ship's Dedication Plaque:
Starship Excelsior's Motto:
Exterior Starship Views:
Starship Excelsior in Spacedock