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For the mirror universe counterpart, see ISS Excelsior.
For other uses, see Excelsior.

The USS Excelsior (NX-2000, later NCC-2000) was a Federation Excelsior-class explorer starship in service to Starfleet for many years from her commission in 2284. When newly commissioned, the Excelsior was the prototype for her class. She served as the test-bed for a failed transwarp drive in the 2280s decade, and protected the Khitomer conference which drafted the Khitomer Accords in 2293. Her most famous commander was Hikaru Sulu who commanded the Excelsior from 2290 to at least 2320. Other commanders included Rear Admiral James T. Kirk and Captain Lawrence Styles. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptations: The Search for Spock, The Undiscovered Country; Decipher RPG modules: Starfleet Operations Manual, Starships; WizKids module: Tactics)

Service history

Undergoing trials

In the late 2270s, Starfleet was working towards the development of transwarp drive, and had a starship designed that would act as a test-bed for the new technology, which resulted in the prototype USS Excelsior (NX-2000). The construction was overseen by Captain Styles, who would later go on to command the ship.

By 2285, the Excelsior was ready to undergo performance trials for the transwarp drive, but some minor details needed to be worked out. To achieve this end, Styles was able to obtain Captain Montgomery Scott from the USS Enterprise as chief engineer. However, this proved to be Styles' undoing, as Scott sabotaged the Excelsior's systems so that they couldn't pursue the Enterprise when Admiral Kirk stole her to return to the Genesis Planet. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Search for Spock)

The mirror universe

A few weeks later, the damage to the Excelsior was repaired and Captain Styles was ordered to proceed to Regula I to collect Admiral Kirk and his command staff and bring them back to Earth to face a court martial. Unfortunately, en route back to Earth, they were intercepted by the ISS Enterprise from a version of the mirror universe. A brief battle ensued, but the Enterprise crew were able to board the Excelsior and take control.

However, Kirk had Styles leave in an escape pod and raise the alarm, while he and his staff engineered their way out. After confusing their mirror universe guards, Kirk and his crew beamed aboard the ISS Enterprise and took over. A battle ensued between the Enterprise and the Excelsior, which resulted in the destruction of the Enterprise's drive section. But Kirk was able to use the tantalus field to remove key components aboard the Excelsior and was able to regain control of the ship.

After regaining the Excelsior, Kirk learned that this was all part of an invasion plan by the Terran Empire, and he was ordered to take Excelsior into the mirror universe and stall the Empire until Starfleet could amass a fleet. Following the battle between Starfleet and Terran forces, Captain Kirk was granted command of the Excelsior and the bulk of his command crew transferred with him, while Captain Styles was assigned command of the USS Christopher Pike. (TOS - The Mirror Universe Saga comic: "Homecoming...")

Service under Admiral Kirk

A lonely expanse, mostly devoid of populated star systems, between the main Sagittarius Arm and the Orion Arm, was the patrol route of Excelsior in 2285, a few weeks into Kirk's command. Excelsior was intercepted by an Ajir warship of the Ajir Empire, and they demanded Kirk's surrender. Learning that the Ajir warship had no shields and primitive weapons, Kirk decided to surrender in order to learn about the Ajir. The Ajir portrayed themselves as a powerful race who dominate the region, but the crew soon learned that they had very little knowledge about starship systems.

However, as their façade began to collapse, the Excelsior was approached by a Grond warship, of the Grond Protectorate, who also demanded that Kirk surrender to them. (TOS - Double Blind comic: "Double Blind, Part One")

Kirk agreed to surrender to the Grond and they also boarded the Excelsior, also proclaiming to be a fearsome species. However, when the Ajir and the Grond met they reacted fearful of each other, having heard stories about each other's ruthlessness. Captain Kirk got the two sides to establish friendly relations with each other and agree to release the Excelsior in return for Federation aid. (TOS - Double Blind comic: "Double Blind, Part II")

A few months later, the Excelsior received a distress call from the USS Surak, an Oberth-class science vessel commanded by Captain Spock. Upon reaching the Surak, they discovered that almost the entire crew, with the exception of Spock, was dead. After studying the Surak's, logs they discovered that the crew were killed by a plague brought aboard by an Andorian. They discovered that the Andorian had escaped via shuttlecraft and entered the Romulan Neutral Zone. Despite increasing tensions with the Romulan Star Empire, Kirk ordered a pursuit course.

The Excelsior was quickly surrounded by Romulan warships, but Kirk managed to convince the Romulan Commander that the Andorian plague carrier threatened the Empire. When Romulans began dying of the plague, one of the Romulan ships accompanied the Excelsior to Romulus. En route to Romulus, Captain Scott managed to remove the plague from a host's body by using the transporter. While the cure was effective on Captain Spock's body, his mind was in tatters. Using a Klingon bird-of-prey, Kirk and his crew headed to Vulcan. Meanwhile, the Excelsior returned to Federation space, once again under the command of Captain Styles. (TOS - The Doomsday Bug! comics: "Death Ship!", "Stand-Off!", "The Apocalypse Scenario!")

Service under Captain Sulu

The bridge of the Excelsior in 2293.

In 2290, Captain Sulu became master of the vessel . He and Excelsior's crew spent the next three years cataloging various planetary gaseous anomalies in the Reydovan sector and Beta Quadrant abroad. (ST novel: Excelsior: Forged in Fire)

The Excelsior was also one of the first Starfleet vessels to reach the Gum Nebula during the Beta Quadrant survey mission. (TTN novel: Orion's Hounds)

It was Sulu and the Excelsior crew that first learned of the destruction of Praxis in 2293. The Excelsior attempted an unauthorized rescue of Captain Kirk and Doctor Leonard McCoy from Rura Penthe, but they were stopped by Klingon Captain Kang. The Excelsior did play a role, along with the USS Enterprise-A, in saving the Khitomer Conference. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; VOY episode & novelization: Flashback)

Unknown to the crew of the Excelsior during her abortive rescue attempt, Starfleet was proposing an operation code-named Operation Retrieve wherein Kirk and McCoy would have been saved from Rura Penthe. If the operation had been approved, the Excelsior would have covered the USS Potemkin's starboard flank as she made the rescue attempt. (TOS movie, novelization & comic adaptation: The Undiscovered Country)

Later in 2293, eleven of her crew, including Captain Sulu, were kidnapped by Beta Prometheans. (TOS novel: The Fearful Summons)

Also in 2293, the Excelsior transported Ambassador Spock and other former Enterprise officers to the planet Mestiko, to negotiate that world's possible admission into the Federation. (TOS - Mere Anarchy eBook: Its Hour Come Round)

In 2294, the Excelsior traveled to Askalon V to rescue Ensign Demora Sulu. (TOS novel: The Captain's Daughter)

In 2308, the Excelsior, under the command of Captain Crajjik, completed a survey of the Delta Campara system. (STA novel: Enigma)

According to one account, Captain Sulu remained in command of the Excelsior until at least 2320. (TOS novel: Burning Dreams)

The difference in commanding officers between Enigma and Burning Dreams might suggest Crajjik's assignment as Excelsior CO was temporary.

In 2308, the Excelsior was destroyed after having traveled through a portal to another universe, the surviving crew trapped on the other side for eleven years. The portal was located on Rejarris II, and was discovered by the crew of the USS Enterprise-B. (ST - The Lost Era novel: One Constant Star)

The latest TLE novel (One Constant Star) establishes the destruction of this ship in 2308, which contradicts what was mentioned in Burning Dreams and other forms of media, such as the Ship of the Line 2014 Calendar and Star Trek Online. According to an Okudagram graphic seen onscreen in the TNG television series, the USS Excelsior canonically known to be in service during the mid-to-late 24th century possesses the registry number NCC-21145. Therefore, it is entirely possible that the Excelsior seen in later stories (including the 2320 sections of Burning Dreams) could be that successor vessel, with Hikaru Sulu in command once more.

Later years

The Excelsior at Deep Space 9.

In 2369 the Excelsior was operating in the area of space near the planet Riat. (TNG - The Space Between comic: "Light of Day")

In 2370, the Excelsior was in service along the Federation's border with the Cardassian Union. In that year, it was assigned to help search for the missing USS Hera. (TNG episode: "Interface")

The Excelsior visited Deep Space 9 at some point in the 2370s. (Ships of the Line 2014)

In 2409, the Excelsior, over 100 years old, was still operating along with her successor of the same class, USS Excelsior. (STO video game: Star Trek Online)

USS Excelsior personnel

See also USS Excelsior (NCC-2000) personnel.

Commanding officer

First officer

Science officer

Communications officer

Chief engineer

Chief medical officer

Security chief


Transporter chief



Ships named Excelsior
Federation Starfleet
(prime reality)
USS Excelsior (NCC-1718, Constitution-class)USS Excelsior (NCC-2000, Excelsior-class)USS Excelsior (NCC-21445, 24th century)USS Excelsior (Excelsior-class)USS Excelsior (NCC-2000-D, Excelsior-class)see also: Excelsior-classExcelsior II-class Federation icon image. Starfleet icon image.
Federation Starfleet
(Kelvin timeline)
USS Excelsior (NCC-1729, Armstrong-class) Federation icon image. Starfleet icon image. Terran Empire, Starfleet
(mirror universe)
ISS Excelsior (NCC-2000, Excelsior-class prototype)ISS Excelsior (NCC-2000-D, Excelsior-class)ISS Excelsior (NC-2015-I, Excelsior-class) Terran Empire icon image. Imperial Starfleet icon image.
Excelsior-class class XIII/class XIV exploration cruiser/battleship starships
Federation Starfleet AchillesAcruxAgenaAgincourt (I)Agincourt (II)AjaxAlamoAl-BataniAllianceAnakAntaresAquilaArcherArcturusAriesArizonaAustraliaBearnBelknapBerlinBetelgeuseBill of RightsBinarBismarckBrisbaneBunker HillCairoCanopusCapellaCarpenterChallengerCharleston (I)Charleston (II)ChekovChikumaClevelandColumbiaConcordConcordiaConstitutionCrazy HorseCrockettDallasDarionDaytonDe MayoEagleEnterpriseExcaliburExcelsiorExcelsior-DExeterFarragut (I)Farragut (II)FearlessFredricksonFusoGalactaGettysburgGorkonGrissomGuirierreHancockHoodHornetHowlandIntrepidJacksonJunoKirovKitty HawkKongoLakotaLassiterLexingtonLivingstonMalincheMatsumoMelbourneMissouriMontanaNew JerseyNew ZealandOhioOkinawaOrcaParisPolluxPotemkin (I)Potemkin (II)ProximaRepulseRighteousRomaRooseveltRoyal OakRyujoSarekSlaytonSpicaSussexTecumsehThundererTiconderogaValiantValley ForgeVegaVenaYamashiroYorktownunnamed Excelsior-class starships Emblem of the United Federation of Planets. Seal of the Federation Starfleet.
Interstellar Union Interstellar Guard
(alternate timeline)
Kumari II Emblem of the Interstellar Union.
Terran Empire Starfleet (mirror universe) ExcelsiorExcelsior-DPunisher Seal of the Terran Empire.

Template:Operation Retrieve

External links