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Shuttlepod (22nd century)

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Shuttlepod (22nd century)
NX shuttlepod.jpg

Shuttlepod (22nd century)

Owner: United Earth
Operator: Starfleet
Type: Shuttlepod
Active: 22nd century
Crew complement: 7
Speed: Impulse only
Armament: Plasma cannons, spatial charges
Defenses: Polarized hull plating
Shuttlepod 1 firing plasma cannons.jpg

Modified shuttlepod

Modified shuttlepod
Shuttlepod, Dawn.jpg

Interior cabin

Interior cabin

Shuttlepods were used by the Starfleet in the 2150s and early 2160s to transport personnel to and from planets and/or spacecraft.

History Edit

In the mid-22nd century, shuttlepods were normally used by Starfleet personnel and sometimes by the MACOs. The crafts also occasionally carried diplomatic delegations. (ENT: "Babel One") The NX-class Enterprise NX-01 carried two shuttlepods, namely Shuttlepod 1 and Shuttlepod 2, throughout its ten year mission from 2151 until 2161. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Strange New World", "These Are the Voyages...")

While it was the producers' original intent for Enterprise to carry four shuttlepods (evidenced by the ship's four launch bays), dialog throughout the run of the series made it clear only two were available. Scenic artist Doug Drexler theorized that there may actually have been four pods, shuttlepods 1 and 2, with two others "mothballed". [1]
NC-05, Home

A Starfleet shuttlepod in 2154

Starfleet Command also used shuttlepods, although they differed from the ones used by NX-class starships. They had blue and silver streamlines and a registry number. (ENT: "Regeneration", "Home") One of these vehicles, seen in 2154, had the registry number NC-05. (ENT: "Home")

The final draft script of "Regeneration" describes the Starfleet shuttlecraft seen in that episode as a "Starfleet shuttle", although it matches the visual design of the shuttlepods used aboard Enterprise in other episodes of the series. [2]

In the mid-2150s of the mirror universe, shuttlepods were also stored in launch bays aboard NX-class starships and were used by officers of the Terran Empire. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II")

Shuttlepods were featured in a holoprogram used in 2370 that also included a simulation of Enterprise's interior and several locations on the planet Rigel X. (ENT: "These Are the Voyages...")

Technical data Edit

Shuttlepods were able to seat a pilot and six passengers, although conditions aboard the vehicles were cramped. Each shuttlepod had an entrance on the roof, one at either side and a large entrance at the back. Seating arrangements consisted of a swiveling chair for the pilot, two similar chairs behind the pilot, and at the rear of the craft, two upholstered benches which doubled as bunks when necessary. These had lift-up seats for access to storage compartments. (ENT: "Broken Bow")

Oxygen recyclers were standard equipment aboard the shuttlepods. (ENT: "Exile") The pods were not equipped with toilet facilities. Universal translators were not usually stored aboard the shuttles. They were equipped with a store of rations and a tiny built-in stove to heat them. (ENT: "Dawn", "Similitude", "Shuttlepod One")

The com array allowed subspace communications over large distances. (ENT: "The Expanse") They had the capacity to distinguish between Vulcan and Human bio-signs even in a snowstorm. However, atmospheric conditions could have a detrimental effect on a shuttlepod's communications and sensor capabilities. (ENT: "Shuttlepod One", "Broken Bow") At times, adverse weather conditions could also prevent a shuttlepod from landing. (ENT: "Strange New World")

Each shuttlepod was equipped with a transponder that allowed other spacefaring vehicles to lock onto the craft. If a shuttlepod's transponder was disabled, the other vehicle would lose this ability. An NX-class starship was capable of identifying the quantity and species of those aboard a shuttlepod, although the craft could be equipped to emanate false life signs. (ENT: "Storm Front")

Interaction with other vehicles Edit

NX launch bay

A shuttlepod connected to Enterprise's docking arm

An NX-class starship was usually equipped with two shuttlepods that were carried in the vessel's launch bay, located on F Deck. (ENT: "Broken Bow") To achieve space travel, shuttlepods were lowered through a set of doors by a magnetic docking arm. The arm released the shuttlepod once it was safely positioned beneath the starship's hull. (ENT: "Fight or Flight", "Broken Bow")

To return to an NX-class starship, shuttlepods docked with the vessel's magnetic docking arm and were then elevated through the launch bay's set of doors, up into the bay itself. (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Fight or Flight") In simulations, some officers were trained how to dock shuttlepods with starships. (ENT: "Observer Effect")

Propulsion systems Edit

Shuttlepods were capable of traveling at impulse speeds. (ENT: "Strange New World") They were designed for a maximum speed of one-quarter impulse, though it was possible to go slightly faster. (ENT: "Marauders") Even more thrust could be produced using fusion overburn. (ENT: "Similitude") The impulse engine module at the back of the shuttle could be ejected and safely detonated if necessary. (ENT: "Shuttlepod One")

Shuttlepods were also equipped with several thrusters for controlled landing and maneuvering. (ENT: "Strange New World") Each shuttlepod had a single plasma injector, which, if damaged, could cause plasma to leak from the craft. (ENT: "Zero Hour", "Storm Front") A shuttlepod could be piloted with a damaged EPS conduit, although an operational replacement would usually be installed. (ENT: "Storm Front")

Tactical systems Edit

Spatial charges, First flight 1

Spatial charges fired by a shuttlepod

Shuttlepod Attack

American P-51 Mustangs fly over a 22nd century shuttlepod

Shuttlepods were armed with plasma weapons. These included two forward mounted plasma cannons. (ENT: "Shadows of P'Jem") The cannons had a range of less than ten kilometers. (ENT: "Shuttlepod One") The plasma cannons could fire both plasma bullet-like bursts (ENT: "Shadows of P'Jem") and beam emissions. (ENT: "Detained") The cannons were more powerful than hand-held plasma rifles. (ENT: "The Council") They were equipped with targeting sensors. (ENT: "Awakening") Shuttlepods could also be modified to carry at least six spatial charges. These could be used to spread particles at a radius of 500 kilometers. Spatial charges were launched as missiles from the shuttle. (ENT: "First Flight")

In "Shadows of P'Jem", the pods armaments were stated to be plasma weapons, plasma cannons according to "Shuttlepod One". In "Detained" , "The Council" and "Awakening" the weapons appeared to fire phase weapon-type beams. Regardless, it was specifically stated in "Awakening" that these were still plasma cannons.

Shuttlepods were protected by a ditanium hull (ENT: "Shadows of P'Jem") with polarized hull plating. (ENT: "Vanishing Point") The hatches of the shuttlepod were reinforced with duratanium alloy, making them strong enough to withstand a quarter kiloton thermokinetic explosion at a range of 20 to 25 meters. (ENT: "Minefield") Shuttlepods could also withstand an attack from conventional projectile weapons, such as those used by P-51 Mustangs, American World War II-era aircraft. However, heavier anti-aircraft artillery could provide sufficient firepower to seriously damage a shuttlepod. (ENT: "Zero Hour", "Storm Front") The bullets fired by such weaponry would typically be removed by a Starfleet engineer. At times, a shuttlepod could survive two phase cannon hits. However, explosives small enough to be easily carried by hand could destroy a shuttlepod. (ENT: "Storm Front") Photonic torpedoes were capable of knocking a com array off a shuttlepod without scratching the craft's hull. (ENT: "The Expanse")

The hull of a shuttlepod could also be insulated with minerals such as trellium-D, that could protect the ship from spatial anomalies. Such a procedure would take at least twelve hours. (ENT: "Exile")

List of shuttlepods Edit

22nd century Shuttlepods
Name/Registry Assigned to Last known status
Shuttlepod 1 Enterprise NX-01 Active (2161)
Shuttlepod 2 Enterprise NX-01 Active (2161)
NC-05 Starfleet Command Active (2154)
Shuttlepod 1 ISS Avenger NX-09 Destroyed (2154)

Appendices Edit

Appearances Edit

Apocryphal Edit

Background information Edit

According to the USS Enterprise Owners' Workshop Manual (pg. 29), the shuttlepods were classified as OTV Type K42/Personnel.

According to interviews with production designer Herman Zimmerman, Enterprise's shuttlepods were designed by John Eaves to be reminiscent of today's NASA space shuttle. The text commentary on "First Flight" from the ENT Season 2 DVD reveals that most of the controls in a shuttlepod's cockpit are labeled with the same terminology as the space shuttles. The commentary, written by Michael and Denise Okuda, also reveals that almost all of the control panels aboard a shuttlepod had to be custom-designed to fit a specific place in the cockpit.

Both of the NX-01's shuttlepods were constructed as full-size mock-ups, said to be close in size to minivans. While only one of the pods contained a practical cockpit set, both were capable of being disassembled and reassembled for location shooting, breaking down into eight-by-eight foot sections. ("Broken Bow" text commentary, ENT Season 1 DVD)

A CG model of a shuttlepod was additionally used to represent both pods and was built at Foundation Imaging by CGI artist Koji Kuramura. "Building the Shuttle Pod was quite tough to [do]. Because it had to match the practical set ship precisely," he remembered. "The only thing is that they would not let us put characters in the cockpit, it always had to be blacked out. Which I thought made it look a little unreal. One more factoid. The shuttle pod also had guns, but you only saw them used in one episode." [X]wbm

Actor Scott Bakula appreciated the inclusion of the shuttlepods in Enterprise. During the show's first season, he remarked, "I'm so thrilled that we haven't ditched the shuttlepods, and just gone straight to transporting. We know what the 'transporting' thing is, but the shuttlepod has given a different element to the show, which has been a lot of fun." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 138, p. 17)

To simulate damage in the third season episode "Impulse", the Enterprise art department applied a "skin" to one of the shuttlepods, giving it a burnt and crumpled appearance without the pain of actually damaging or repainting the pod. ("Impulse" text commentary, ENT Season 3 DVD) Several prop items and shuttlepod set dressings were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [3]

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