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Starbase 74

Size Comp
Universe : Prime Timeline
Class Name : Starbase 74
Type : Starbase manufacturing and support facility
Unit Run :
Lya Station Alpha [1] - Active
Starbase 133 [2] - Active
Starbase 74 [3] - Active
Commissioned : 2358 - present
Dimensions : Diameter : 8,781 m
Height (main) : 10,712 m
Height (overall) : 13,356 m [4]
Decks : 2765
Mass : 71,000,000 metric tons
Crew : 85,000 Starfleet, typically 120,000 to 240,000 civilian
Armament : 2000 x Type XII phaser arrays, total output 12,150,000 TeraWatts
96 x Type 2 burst fire photon torpedo tube
Defence Systems : High Capacity shield system, total capacity 1,215,000 TeraJoules
Light Duranium / Tritanium Single hull.
Low level Structural Integrity Field
Docking Facilities : Internal docking bay [3] capable of holding up to two hundred starships, depending on type. Two hundred hangar bays capable of holding up to three thousand shuttlecraft
Starbase 74 : Not capable of independent movement; attitude control and/or orbital adjustment only.
Strength Indices :
(Galaxy class = 1,000)
Beam Firepower : 243,000
Torpedo Firepower : 38,400
Weapon Range and Accuracy : 1,200
Shield Strength : 450
Hull Armour : 3.13
Speed : -
Combat Manoeuvrability : -
Overall Strength Index : 77,074
Diplomatic Capability : Thirty six Grade 7 systems
Expected Hull Life : 180
Refit Cycle : Minor : 5 year
Standard : 5 years
Major : 45 years


Although the Spacedock series of stations proved highly successful, by the 2330's Starfleet faced a problem with its latest ships. The trend had been for ever larger designs, and all projections were that this trend would continue for the forseeable future. The Spacedock stations needed considerable re-working of their main docking area in order to accomodate these ships, a re-working which would reduce the efficiency of the stations handling arrangements and cause serious problems to Starfleets maintanence schedules during the work. It was decided to build a small number of new, much larger facilities which would be easily capable of handling significant numbers of the largest starships.

The sheer size of these monsters was far beyond anything previously envisaged, a factor which weighed heavily on the minds of the design team. The original proposals called for an all-new station configuration, but the detailed design work for this would have taken at least fifteen years to complete. In order to cut this figure down as far as possible it was decided to follow the engineering of the successful Spacedock series.

Construction of Starbase 74, the first of the new facilities, begun in 2342. Despite many technical problems the project kept to its projected build time of sixteen years and the Starbase came on-line in 2358. Since this time two further facilities have been completed and two more are underway; Starfleet looks likely to petition for more of these facilities as the need for more and more starships becomes more pressing.

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation


# Series Season Source Comment
1 TNG 5 Ensign Ro
2 TNG 4 Remember Me
3 TNG 1 11001001
4 Speculative Scaled using shots of the Enterprise-D compared to the space doors in '11001001'.
Series : TNG Season 5
Episode : Ensign Ro
Series : TNG Season 4
Episode : Remember Me
Series : TNG Season 1
Episode : 11001001
Source : Speculative
Comment : Scaled using shots of the Enterprise-D compared to the space doors in '11001001'.


Of course, we all know that Starbase 74 as seen in "11001001" was a re-use of the Spacedock model from Star Trek III, right? Right. However, the creators showed the Enterprise-D using the space doors of SB 74. The comments page for Spacedock contains a detailed discussion of the size of the space doors of Spacedock, coming to the conclusion that they are 256 metres across.

So how large is the Enterprise-D? Well, numerous sources list the ship as being 641 metres long, give or take a metre. According to the TNG TM co-ordinate system given on page 20, the port edge of the saucer section has the XYZ co-ordinates -27987,0,19418 - making the beam 2 x 279.87 = 559.74 metres.

However, this does not fit in very well with scale diagrams of the ship - even the one used to demonstrate the co-ordinate system itself! These uniformly yield a beam in the region of 470 metres.

For what it's worth, the DS9 TM entry on the Galaxy class gives a length of 642.51 metres and a beam of 463.73 metres. But it also gives the ship a height of 195.26 metres, which is a good 50 metres too high - at 195.26 metres, each of the 42 decks would be 4.65 metres high, which is far above the accepted deck heights.

In any case, the consensus of opinion seems to be that the ship is about 470 metres across - far too large to fit even the largest possible interpretation of the size of Spacedocks doors. We don't get a really good straight-on view of the E-D coming through the doors, but the saucer seems to clear the sides with about 20% to spare. This would make the doors about 590 metres across.

Since the makers used the same model for both stations, then we know that everything else on the station exterior is scaled up in size also. We get a ratio for the size of SB 74 to Spacedock of 2.3 : 1, giving SB 74 a diameter of 8,781 metres and an overall height of 13,360 metres.

This makes the station one of the largest we have ever seen in Trek - for that matter, amongst the largest in sci-fi as a whole. While structures like the Dyson Sphere or the Star Wars Death Star dwarf SB 74, the likes of Babylon 5 - which is five miles long - would just about fit into SB74's docking bay if it could get through the doors.

I know many people don't like the "scaled up design" idea much, but it can in fact work quite well so long as you stick to direct multiples. The biggest problem is in exterior windows, but in fact these are usually (not always) less than half the height of a given room. If we make one ship or structure exactly twice the size of another, then it is relatively simple to say that the windows on the uprated ship are twice as large compared to the decks, and that only every other deck has windows. This can work reasonably well with a 2x scale up - a 2.5 foot high window would be reasonable on a spacecraft, and a 5 foot window would still be reasonable. A 3x scale up can also work - our 2.5 foot window would end up as 7.5 feet, still within the deck heights of most ships. A 4x scale up pushes the limit, with 10 foot high windows - essentially we end up with a window that occupies the entire visible wall. For scale ups greater than 4x, we need to start increasing deck heights significantly and things start to get tricky from there.

Starbase 74's 2.3x scale factor indicates at least two possibilities :

Firstly, there could be a two-for-one deck substitution. Since the scale ratio is not an integer, the decks themselves would be higher in SB 74 by 15% - say from 3.75 metres to 4.3 metres. This would indicate that the later Starbase has significantly more headroom than the earlier Spacedock.

Alternately, there may be a three-for-one deck substitution. In this case each deck would be scaled down to 82% of its original value. If the original Spacedock had deck heights of around 4.5 metres, then Starbase 74 would have decks of 3.45 metres. This would indicate that the later Starbase has significantly less headroom than the earlier Spacedock.

Personally, I lean heavily toward the first idea. It's established in epsiodes such as "Relics" and "Trials and Tribbilations" that Starfleet accomodations have improved greatly over the last century or so, so more headroom certainly makes more sense for a later design. A two-for-one deck substitution also makes the windows a more reasonable size in both stations.

Apart from the sizes, almost everything else in the specs page is pure guesswork, since we know so little about these stations. Given that the station is a 2.3x scale up of Spacedock, its volume will be over twleve times greater. I have scaled up the crew by rather less than this, to provide for the far more luxurious accomodations which we could expect in a structure like this. Armament is scaled up by guestimated factors that just felt right to me.

Starbase 133 was seen in "Remember Me", and Lya Station Alpha was seen in "Ensign Ro"; both were similarly sized in relation to the Enterprise-D.

© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 72,191 Last updated : 31 Dec 2004