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Vulcan Lander

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Affiliation : Vulcans
Class Name : Vulcan Lander
Type : Planetary survey / landing craft
Unit Run : Approximately two hundred and thirty built
Commissioned : Mid 1950's
Dimensions : Diameter : 33.5 m [1]
Height : 16.25 m
Decks : 1
Mass : 600 metric tons
Crew : 2
Armament : No beam weapons
Defence Systems : Light Monotanium Single hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : -
Torpedo Firepower : -
Weapon Range and Accuracy : -
Shield Strength : -
Hull Armour : 0.31
Speed : -
Combat Manoeuvrability : 16,600
Overall Strength Index : 25
Diplomatic Capability : 1
Expected Hull Life : 10 years of active use; plus periods of storage under inactive conditions


During the Earth's twentieth and twenty first centuries the Vulcans began conducting an extensive effort to explore nearby star systems. Initially intended to survey all nearby systems for any signs of life, by 2120 the Vulcans had decided to concentrate their efforts on discovering space faring civilizations like their own. These missions were carried out by large ships travelling at relativistic speeds on missions which could last for decades.

Once in a candidate system, the Vulcans needed vessels capable of conducting survey missions of the planets they encountered, including making landings to conduct surface reconnaissance and First Contacts if required. The vessel designed for this purpose was a form of large shuttle craft.

Like its parent craft, the lander used a form of primitive impulse drive for propulsion. The ship comprised a central section mounted on a base which contained the landing gear and a small airlock; the three engines were mounted on struts extending from the upper surface of the main section in a tripod arrangement. One relatively novel feature was the use of variable geometry on the engines and landing gear in order to allow the lander to operate across the maximum possible range of atmospheric and surface conditions.

Various models of the lander were employed; some were fitted as small cargo carriers to enable their parent ships to re-stock supplies from local planets, and several were fitted with a form of ram scoop to allow them to gather fuel from the atmospheres of gas giants in order to extend the range of the mission. But most were fitted to carry a small number of passengers and crew on extended atmospheric and surface research missions.

The lander operated successfully for many decades, conducting missions on over ninety new worlds and participating in first contact situations a total of sixteen times. The most notable of these occurred on a mission which passed through the Sol system in 2061; by this time the Vulcans were primarily interested in establishing relations with more advanced cultures, and had little interest in the inhabitants of the third planet in the system. That changed when the Phoenix made the first warp flight as the Vulcans passed through; realizing that Humans knew how to travel faster than light, the Vulcans sent a lander down to the launch site of the Phoenix where they made contact with Zefram Cochrane - a meeting which led to a renaissance for Humanity and the eventual founding of the United Federation of Planets.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 Star Trek Chronology Based on the scale diagram showing the ship with a person in the doorway in the Encyclopedia.
Book : Star Trek Chronology
Comment : Based on the scale diagram showing the ship with a person in the doorway in the Encyclopedia.


We know very little about the Vulcan ship seen in First Contact. My own take on this ship is that it is way too small to have been an interstellar vessel, so I think it was some sort of shuttlecraft / survey ship which was carried across interstellar space by some sort of parent vessel.
© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 36,081 Last updated : 23 May 2004