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first_imgThis article isn’t about the flyboy antics of Tom Cruise, and Jean Luc Picard wasn’t the captain on this vessel, but it is safe to say that Gene Roddenberry’s tales of intergalactic combat were inspired by something a little more terrestrial. In fact, it is probably a sure bet that most everyone in the US has either seen or heard the word “Enterprise” in reference to a ship at some point in their lives. Today, we’re not talking about the science fiction Enterprise, but instead we look to the sea and talk about the real USS Enterprise as she embarks on her final voyage.There’s not enough that could be said about a ship like the USS Enterprise. This one-of-a-kind vessel has been a part of all of our lives for the last 50 years (it set sail in 1961). Aside from being the longest aircraft carrier in the fleet, not to mention the oldest, the Enterprise was also the first nuclear ship in the US fleet. She has played parts in the Cuban Missile Crisis, acted as a “from orbit” marker for Lt. Colonel John Glenn’s orbital flight in Friendship 7, and played a critical role in defining how we launch aircraft from similar ships today. Sometime this year, the USS Enterprise will be embarking on her final voyage for the US Navy. When the ship gets back from this final deployment, it will be decommissioned and its crew moved over to other vessels in the fleet. Being the only ship of its kind, and being the oldest nuclear vessel in the fleet, many parts for the Enterprise must be machined by hand when replacements are needed, which can cause problems when out at sea. At the moment, it would appear as though the name Enterprise will also be put to rest with the ship, instead of passed on to another vessel right away. On behalf of geeks around the world, I salute the final voyage of the USS Enterprise, and hope that we’ll see that name plastered across a new kind of ship in the future.last_img read more