The Phoenix is the fictional first human-made spacecraft to travel beyond the speed of light in the Star Trek science fiction film Star Trek: First Contact. It also appears in the opening sequence of all but two episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise.
The Phoenix was designed by Herman Zimmerman and John Eaves, and was loosely based on a conjectural model created by Greg Jein that appeared in the first edition of The Star Trek Chronology
in 1993. The ship was redesigned for Star Trek: First Contact
because that film revealed that the ship was launched from an uprated Titan V rocket, a plot point unknown to Jein when the first edition of the Chronology
was published. When the second, revised version of the Chronology
was published in 1996, the information on the Phoenix
was corrected to reflect the canonical information established in the film.
The fictional characters Zefram Cochrane
and Lily Sloane
built the Phoenix
from an old Titan V nuclear missile
. Lt. Commander Data
remarks upon the irony regarding a nuclear missile being used to usher in an era of peace.
As depicted in First Contact, the Phoenix's voyage occurs on April 5, 2063, and its mission initiates first contact between Earth and extraterrestrials when a Vulcan survey ship detects the ship's warp signature. The Borg in that film travel in time in an attempt to prevent first contact and to assimilate Earth, but the USS Enterprise-E's crew manages to thwart their plan.
As mentioned in Star Trek: First Contact
, the Phoenix is stored at the Smithsonian Museum
by the 24th Century, and Cochrane's flight is the focus of a course taught at Starfleet Academy
According to The Star Trek Encyclopedia, the 24th Century Nebula-class Starfleet vessel that appeared in the fourth season Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "_The_Next_Generation)" was thought to have been named after Cochrane's historic ship.