Memory Alpha


36,849pages on
this wiki

Back to page


Nacelle separation system? I didn't realize there was such a thing. Was it actually shown in any episode? And if it is canon, I wonder why the crew of the Enterprise-D didn't use that capability. (I know, because they wanted a new ship for the "let's go fight the Borg" movie.)  ;) Ekedolphin 06:57, 26 Sep 2005 (UTC)

I thought the same thing. I don't recall any episodes of TNG, DS9 or VOY where this capability is mentioned. It might be mentioned in the DS9 or TNG Technical manual, but those books are apocryphal and contradict canon in many cases. PB5K 01:17, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
The only direct mention of nacelle separation capability is in the tech manuals, which suggest it is performed when damage to their plasma injectors endangers the ship. However, it is widely accepted that Matt Jeffries' original concept for engine nacelles was shaped by his idea that they produced energies that were potentially hazardous to the crew, and should therefore be located away from the main body of the ship; ejection capabilities are a logical extension of this idea (though I'm not sure Jeffries ever explicitly mentioned them).
Seperating the nacelle's wouldn't do the Enterprise-D much good; their problem was the Warp Core, not the nacelle's. – Fadm tyler 11:21, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
The only canon reference I can think of is in The Apple, where Kirk famously advises Scotty to "drop the engines and blast out with the main section" or something of that nature. 03:54, 16 June 2006 (UTC)


Perhaps a section on the evolution of the nacelle over time could be added? I got to thinking about it based on the similarities between the necelles of the Phoenix and Friendship 1. Jaf 16:26, 11 Aug 2005 (UTC)Jaf


What I'm still missing is an explanation of Federation ships in Star Trek having 2, 3 or even 4 nacelles. If it has to do with warp-fiel geometry and symmetry (a possible explanation), I think it should be listed both here and on warp field.-- Redge | Talk 17:23, 13 Aug 2004 (CEST)

I disagree. An explanation might be missing, but as long as it is just speculation (as far as I know, warp geometry and symmetry were never mentioned on-screen in this context), we shouldn't include it just because it is a possible explanation. -- Cid Highwind 17:40, 13 Aug 2004 (CEST)
I didn't say it was THE explanation. It is an explanation I remeber reading somewhere. If no explanation exists, a note at the very least should be added. -- Redge | Talk 17:49, 13 Aug 2004 (CEST)
I believe there was a statement in the ST:TNG Technical Manual that stated that two nacelles (or multiples thereof) constituted the 'most efficient' configuration. Also remember that Gene Roddenberry insisted on all Starfleet vessels having even numbers of nacelles. 0:19, 22 May 2005 (MST)
Yes, it was mentioned in the Technical Manual that two nacelles was the best configuration. So I added that to the article. --Jesster79 17:52, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps something like "they don't all have two, we don't know why", (better wording tho)? Tyrant 04:59, 27 Feb 2005 (GMT)Tyrant

Soemthing more like: "Although most starships typically have two, it is not unheard of for these vessels to have additional nacelles. There has been no explaination given on this matter." --Gvsualan 06:02, 27 Feb 2005 (GMT)

Sounds good to me, pure poetry. Add away. Tyrant 06:05, 27 Feb 2005 (GMT)Tyrant

Any idea on what we've seen for warp nacelle counts, even outside SF vessels? Other than 3 on the AGT Enterprise-D, and 4 on the Constellation/Prometheus? There probably should be a note as well that not all vessels utilize nacelles for faster-than-light space travel. --Gvsualan 06:21, 27 Feb 2005 (GMT)
Presumably, the reason that the Prometheus has 4 nacelles is that so when the ship separates into its multi-vector assault mode, the two rear sections would both be capable of warp speeds. It would not surprise me to learn that the upper and lower nacelles were both supplyied by completely independent warp drive systems for this very purpose.
It's mentioned here that the Prometheus has four nacelles, two of which are not seen. Isn't it actually that the Prometheus has six nacelles, two sets stacked on top of each other and the third embedded in the "saucer" section? Note that when the sections were attacking the Nebula class ship, all sections were at warp, so the "saucer" must have warp capability. R2data 13:53, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Is it just me, or does the Gorn starship look like it has a 5 nacelle configuration. [X]wbm [X]wbm Four on the pylons and the fifth extending from the main hull... I don't know if it's too ambiguous to note here. --Pseudohuman 19:08, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Defiant and Steamrunner nacelles Edit

Why does this say these two classes of ships don't have nacelles? The Defiant has them, their just pulled into the ships body more. And the steamrunner's nacelles hold that back section onto the rest of the ship.


Dunno where I read this stuff, but if someone knows a source, maybe it can be added.

  • Matt Jefferies situated the nacelles away from the ship because he felt the tremendous forces involved in propulsion might be unhealthy for the crew to be in close proximity to.
  • Gene Roddenberry declared that Federation starships could only have even numbers of nacelles. -- StAkAr Karnak 16:04, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I've seen the note about Gene Roddenberry around the internet, but never in an official source (to be fair, I don't have very many official sources). --OuroborosCobra talk 16:10, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

The CatwalkEdit

Perhaps there should be a reference to "The Catwalk", since most of that episode happens within the nacelles. -- StAkAr Karnak 03:49, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

did some quick work on it. Deevolution 04:07, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Defiant nacelles Edit

Their positioning on the Defiant class is specifically to better protect them from weapons fire from the front, also evidenced by the placement of the field grills on the back of the nacelles.

I am removing this note. It has gone 4 months without citation. It can be returned to the article if properly cited. --OuroborosCobra talk 07:09, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Warp Drive and Nacelles Edit

Warp drive is the means for getting all of the starships in Star Trek through the Galixy. They use some very crazy psudo science to do this and part of it is the nacelles. Depending on the ship they can be round, in pairs, trios, or in sets of four. Furthermore, on some ships, like the Klingon Bird of Prey or the Dekora class, they are not seen at all. What explenation, if any, is there for these differing parts of what should essentaly be a unaversal technoglogy. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

The Bird-of-Prey and D'Kora nacelles are shown at the back of the ship, as seen in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and TNG: "Peak Performance", respectively. --Alan del Beccio 20:52, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

All the same, why would something that should be a unaversal desighn have so many varients? And if you could point out the Nacelles that would be great, I can't find them. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

The nacelles are embedded into the hull. Watch either go to warp and see where the light distortion comes from. Otherwise, who says that it's a universal design? This is science fiction, it can be and do anything the writers want it to be and do. --Alan del Beccio 19:12, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
The idea, based on the Prime Directive (in Federation space at least) would suggest that each species designs it's own version of Warp (or other form of faster than light travel) without input or interference from other races, further suggesting that, other than those aspects necessary to obey physics, it would NOT be a universal technology. My understanding of the need for nacelles was that closeness to them could be dangerous, but with enough appropriate sheilding they could be anywhere in a ship. Just look at their position on the Defiant.Caducus 13:43, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
According to the article, if it's not "outboard", it's not a nacelle. I conclude: a nacelle is not required for warp coils at all, and this is the piece of the puzzle that the original requestor is missing. 00:54, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

that does ansewr it, necells are not neccisary. thanks -- The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).

My own speculation of why designs differ (inboard vs. outboard vs. whatever) is that different philosophies of the uses of spacefaring vessels require different warp field geometries. For just one example: Federation ships can extend their warp field bubble around another ship. Can one of these inboard designs do that? No way to really know, but we sure haven['t seen it. The Federation's philosophy probably demands that ships be as versatile as possible. But Klingons just want to fly and fight, no doubt, and Ferengis just want to travel and maybe to freight. 05:59, 28 January 2008 (UTC), is that you? The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk).
This would be a whole lot easier on everyone if ya'll could create a user name, and sign in before leaving a comment, as well as signing your comments when you leave them. Thanks--Alan del Beccio 06:09, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
If you look at the sail plan of various ships and boats, you will see a vast array of designs (compare a full-rigged ship, a schooner, a pirogue and a modern turbosailer). The technology is essentially the same, support a large sheet of tough cloth on wooden or metal poles and use it to catch the wind, but the different design philosophies make for these radical differences. Each rig has its advantages and disadvantages, and all are very good at the purpose for which they are designed. In many cases the technology was designed independently, or evolved from the same basic design independently. Considering the numerous parallels (accidental and deliberate) to the Age of Discovery in Trek, when sail was the only long-range propulsion technology, then we should not be surprised to see such variety. Besides, it makes for good television. --Indefatigable 23:32, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Damage and feedback Edit

Even at sublight speeds serious impacts from weapons or other objects can spell disaster for a ship because of a feedback of energy throughout the vessel.

Technically, wouldn't Generations also be part of this, given the damage to the nacelles there fed back into the warp core and caused a coolant leak? Just a thought that a reference could have been made here, but wasn't sure. Trisar 05:24, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Did they ever hit the Nacelles? I only saw weapons hit the pylons under the nacelles. – Fadm tyler 09:05, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Citation needed Edit

The following note has lacked a citation for over three years:

  • Nacelles are usually separated from the main structure of the ship because of radiation generated by the nacelles; when at optimal levels, the radiation could be deleterious to the safety of ship and crew.

Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 10:48, September 14, 2011 (UTC)

I have a faint recollection that this info was something that the Enterprise model designer stated in the Star Trek The Motion Picture director's cut bonus materials about the overall design of the ship. but i dont have the dvds available right now to check. but its not canon info never the less, i think. --Pseudohuman 20:44, September 14, 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for that Pseudohuman. If you find the reference, feel free to add it to background. :-) –Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 05:32, September 15, 2011 (UTC)

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki