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“Captain, a Klingon Warbird, dead ahead.”
The USS Enterprise (NCC-1701) (a Starship-class starship) was the flagship of the United Federation of Planets during the 23rd century. It was launched in 2222, with the mission of seeking out new life and new civilization, but more importantly, killing any Klingons that dared crossed its path. It was primarily commanded by the legendary Supreme Federation Generalissimo James T. Kirk, OBE, KBE... etc.
edit Original mission
The Enterprise was originally commanded by Capt. Christopher "Unimportant" Pike over the course of several pointless years. One possible explanation for the lack of drama in this era is the unavailability of redshirt officers (due to Starfleet's uniform policy at the time), leading to a lack of useful cannon fodder. As such, they were unable to go on any missions of significance.
Cpt. Pike was forced to retire after a horrible accident horribly disfigured him and left him permanently crippled, an accident long awaited and celebrated all over the Federation.
edit The Golden Age
After this, the Enterprise was given a memorable, racially balanced, and family-friendly crew, featuring stereotypical accents and campy overacting. With the redshirt problem now solved, they set off to explore the galaxy and other such stuff. Under the command of tactical genius Capt. Kirk, they kicked blue, green and even purple ass for much longer than their supposed five-year mission. Most of the time not spent killing aliens and/or breaking the Prime Directive was used by the Captain to get it on with little green women for a unique study he would write on Human-Alien mating patterns. During this period, a successful reality television show about life on board a Starship named Star Trek was set up, but it was unfortunately cancelled due to awful ratings.
edit The Spock's Death story-arc and destruction of the Enterprise
In the year 2267, the Enterprise was attacked while on a peaceful diplomatic mission to destroy aliens by an Evil Asian Terrorist From The Past named KHAAAAAAAANNN! Noonien Singh. Despite being equipped with a much smaller and less powerful survey ship and a crew of unwashed inbreds, Khan was somehow able to almost destroy the Enterprise and kill all those aboard. However he was undone when both his eardrums and liver ruptured when he stood too close to Kirk doing a power "KHAAAAAAAANNN!" next to his face.
When the ship was attacked the crew played a practical joke on Spock in which he was made to believe that the only way to save the Enterprise was to lock himself in a chamber full of deadly Trilithic Omega Radiation. To their dismay, he proceded to do so and was immediatley killed. Feeling guilty, they stole the Enterprise and proceded on a long and not at all uninteresting voyage to save him. When faced by Klingons, Captain Kirk suffered a case of acute testicular failure and lured them onto his own ship to blow it up while safely having transported down to the planet, instead of having to fight them. Once finally revived, Spock died of a heart attack when told about the true nature of his death.