Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise, the coolest flying thingy to ever go through the galaxy.
It Can Break in Two, In Case of Emergency
One of the lesser-known abilities of the Enterprise is its capability to, in a dire situation, jettison the back half of the ship. Referred to as a “saucer separation,” it was thought of as a last-minute move on constitution-class ships to get away from unwanted orbit and secure the crew. Thus, without its warp nacelles, the Enterprise can only travel at small speed, which isn’t that fast at all. It’s just about ¼ the speed of light.
The Enterprise was created to be an exploration vessel, constructed for years in deep space. While it’s more than able of battling when the need arose, it’s obviously not a warship. Enterprise was kept with numerous photon torpedo launchers and a whole lot of phaser banks. In the episode, “A Piece of the Action,” Enterprise’s phasers are fixed to stun and rapidly knock out a whole city block. In fact, a fully charged phaser could destroy an entire planet.
It Became a Training Ship
At the outset of The Wrath of Khan, Enterprise is out of active service, being a training vessel for new recruits. Despite its varied improvements, Starfleet is focused on bigger and better things and the old constitution-class Starship just can’t keep up. Like his old ship, Kirk himself felt obsolete, manning a desk rather than a space cruiser, biding time until his middle-age grows into old age. Eventually, an old nemesis shows up to disrupt Kirk’s would-be retirement, leaving Kirk and his ship no alternative but to try and halt death once more, although this time it’s a bigger cost than Kirk ever wanted or was willing to pay.