This is the Enterprise’s most basic mission, and this is its mission when the ship is in earth’s orbit. If we assume that the Gen1 Enterprise will be in earth’s orbit about half the time – as opposed to being out far away in space on another mission – many, many visitors and small spacecrafts (both NASA-owned and privately-owned) will go to the Enterprise for various reasons. A significant amount of space tourism will be supported and not only for the affluent. Some tourists will even get to go along on an occasional moon fly-by. And perhaps some lucky tourists will get to ride in a Universal Lander down to the moon’s surface where they can take a walk while wearing a spacesuit.
One goal is to get members of the general public who are interested in space exploration out into space for the first time. After all – they are paying for the Enterprise.
Furthermore, a chief goal of the Enterprise program is to inspire us all when it comes to thinking about space – Americans and the people of other nations alike. And a related more specific goal is to inspire many more American young people to pursue studies and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
When the Enterprise is in earth’s orbit, much of the activity in space will revolve around the Enterprise. Spaceships from the US and other nations will dock there, and they will come and go. The Enterprise can serve as a maintenance shop for repairing or upgrading satellites. The Enterprise will be a center for space research. And too, there will be a constant stream of technical specialists, and deliveries of cargo, as the Enterprise is readied for its next major mission far from earth.
The Enterprise will have other various jobs while in earth’s orbit. For example, the Enterprise might work to clean up space debris to make the space around earth safer. Its laser may be used to help with this.