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Thrusters were propulsion devices used aboard starships that generated very little speed, but were useful in various situations. It was possible to use maneuvering thrusters to alter a ship's course, to rotate about an axis, or to move short, precise distances without the use of impulse drive.


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While captured by the automated repair station, Jonathan Archer ordered full thruster activation of the Enterprise NX-01. Trip Tucker informed Archer that thrusters were ineffective and that activating the impulse drive would likely cause catastrophic damage to the primary hull. (ENT: "Dead Stop")

The shuttlepod piloted by Travis Mayweather in Vulcan's orbit in 2154 lost its thrusters after it was hit several times by two Vulcan fighters. (ENT: "Awakening")

In 2285, Lieutenant Saavik ordered Commander Hikaru Sulu to activate the USS Enterprise's aft thrusters when the ship left drydock. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

The stress of a Romulan tractor beam caused sub-microscopic deformations in the structural integrity, specially the nose section and aft thrusters of the Type 15 shuttlepod Onizuka. (TNG: "The Mind's Eye")

A year later, forward thrusters of the Type 15 shuttlepod Campbell failed when the shuttle was trying to land on a moon of Mab-Bu VI. (TNG: "Power Play")

When Captain Jean-Luc Picard was under the control of the Kataan probe by means of a nucleonic beam, Commander William T. Riker slowly moved the USS Enterprise-D away from the probe, using thrusters only at 100 kph. (TNG: "The Inner Light")

In 2369, Jaheel fired his aft thrusters while the mooring clamps at Deep Space 9 were still locked onto his ship, which resulted in it being destroyed. (DS9: "Babel")

In 2371, Data rerouted the last available power to the lateral thrusters to slow the descent of the USS Enterprise-D. (Star Trek Generations)

Klingon Birds-of-Prey were equipped with bow thrusters. In late 2373, first officer Worf ordered bow thrusters ahead one half as he undocked the IKS Rotarran from Deep Space 9's docking ring. (DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire")

Deep Space 9 was equipped with control thrusters. Kira Nerys ordered Miles O'Brien to utilize the station's thrusters in order to move the station from Bajor's orbit to defend the newly discovered Bajoran wormhole. (DS9: "Emissary")

When the USS Yangtzee Kiang was attacked by a network of artificial satellites while orbiting a moon in the Gamma Quadrant, the forward thrusters went down. (DS9: "Battle Lines")

Thrusters by location

  • Aft thrusters
  • Bow/Forward thrusters
  • Lateral thrusters

Types of thrusters

Related components

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