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Orbital Shuttle

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Federation
Class Name : Orbital Shuttle
Type : Inter-orbital and surface to orbit transport
Unit Run : 2,624 built in total. 64 have been lost in all. 1,330 have been retired from service.
Commissioned : 2272 - 2302, class remains in service
Dimensions : Length : 11.37 m1
Beam : 6 m
Height : 3.74 m2
Decks : 13
Mass : 17.12 metric tons
Crew : 1
Armament : No beam weapons
Defence Systems : Light Monotanium Single hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Sub-impulse only : Acceleration : 30 m/s/s
Delta Vee : 216,000 m/s
Endurance : 2 hours
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : -
Torpedo Firepower : -
Weapon Range and Accuracy : -
Shield Strength : -
Hull Armour : 0.31
Speed : -
Combat Manoeuvrability : 19,170
Overall Strength Index : 27
Diplomatic Capability : 1
Expected Hull Life : 60
Refit Cycle : Minor : 1 year
Standard : 1 years
Major : 15 years


The orbital shuttle was fielded in the 2270's in order to enhance Starfleets ability to move people and equipment both between orbital facilities and from planetary surfaces to orbit. The requirement stresses simplicity and low cost of both construction and operation, necessary in all such craft if they are to be effective competition to transporter systems. The designers chose single hulled construction to simplify manufacture and keep the mass down to a minimum. No shields or weapons where included, nor was any provision made for future installation of such systems. The computer core was a simple duotronic system, and the sensor suite was limited to a simple navigtion/terrain scanning laser radar backed up by an inertial navigation system.

Although not popular due to the limited capabilities, the Orbital shuttle was procured in substantial numbers and served its purpose adequately for many decades. The type began retiring from 2332, and although the last was due to go in 2362 some two hundred have been retained in service due to delays in fielding a replacement.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek Encyclopedia Calculated from the scale diagram on page 443, assuming a 24 foot Type 1.
2 Star Trek Encyclopedia
3 Star Trek III : The Search for Spock
Book : Star Trek Encyclopedia
Comment : Calculated from the scale diagram on page 443, assuming a 24 foot Type 1.
Book : Star Trek Encyclopedia
Film: Star Trek III : The Search for Spock


These craft have been seen operating in and around Spacedock during Star Trek III / IV. We know absolutely nothing about them short of how big they are (from the Encyclopedia scale diagrams) and that they appear to be some form of cargo / personnel transporter.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 28,956 Last updated : 31 Jul 2004