|Date Entered Service||
|Expected Design Duration||
|Expected Refit Cycle||
84 Type-XII Phaser Arrays
24 Burst-Fire Torpedo Turrets
4,000 Photon Torpedoes 2,000 Quantum Torpedoes
Spacedock-class stations are amongst the largest structures in the Federation. Indeed, their name is now used for an entire class of stations called 'spacedocks,' which are capable of holding multiple starships within an interior hanger. While the design is based on the original Earth Spacedock, the Spacedock-class is a much larger design that was developed when Starfleet realized that the internal hanger of the prototype would be quickly made obsolete by larger starship designs. Dozens of these stations were built between 2327 and 2389, but the class has been phased out in new construction by the Guardian-class spacedock.
These stations are generally found in core areas of the Federation and anchoring important border sectors. They are important shipbuilding, commercial, and defensive installations, as well as being a symbol of the Federation's engineering prowess.
Spacedock-class stations have often been compared to gigantic mushrooms, as they have both a wide cap-shaped top and a long stalk. The station's design consists of six major modules, with additional smaller modules attached above and below. Like her smaller cousin, the Aurora and her successor, the Guardian, the Spacedock class has a central travel core that runs from the top of the station to the bottom, with long-distance trams and turbolifts. Most stations use letters to the sections of their station: A for the Administrative Levels, B for the Spacedock, etc., in addition to the standard deck numbers, often also with color codes.
Administrative Levels (Sector A)
Dotted with sensor and short-range communications spires, the administration levels are located above the spacedock, and consist of several modular towers above a disk-shaped module which houses diplomatic facilities, quarters for senior officers and VIPs, and the station's main infirmary. The towers are largely used by sector administration personnel, various Starfleet offices, and other non-station-critical operations.
Spacedock (Sector B)
The spacedock is the largest module of the station, a stretched disk-shaped structure that is open on the inside. It is accessible through four space doors which lead to a cavernous interior dominated by the central docking spire, which has berths for up to sixteen starships. Inside the bay on the tower are sixteen bays for small craft such as shuttles and runabouts. On the exterior of this module are a further sixteen shuttle bays in bands of four between the space doors. The center of each of these bands has an operations complex, one of which serves as station operations: the station's primary command center. The lowest levels of the spacedock is occupied by cargo bays and the facilities to construct starships.
Commercial Module (Sector C)
Commercial traffic is handled through a barrel-shaped module that connects the spacedock to the dome-shape arboretum module. This facility includes eight more shuttle bays and two small drydocks reserved for civilian traffic. This area is also where most of the station's civilian quarters are located, as well as additional cargo bays.
Arboretum Module (Sector D)
The second-largest module on the Spacedock class is the arboretum module, which contains a simulated class-M environment that's nearly two kilometers across, rising eight hundred meters through most of the bulk of this section. The interior of the dome projects the illusion of being on a terrestrial surface, with the central travel core rising through the center of the area. With over three square kilometers of varied terrain, plants, and park space, this area is popular for recreation and relaxation. The station's promenade runs around the perimeter of the arboretum, providing hundreds of restaurants, bars, and shops. In addition, there are a further twelve shuttle bays in this area.
Habitat Module (Sector E)
The next cylindrical module under the arboretum module is the habitat module, which contains most of the quarters for the station's 60,000 crewmembers.
Support Module (Sector F)
The support module is the smallest module on the station, and consists of contingency crew quarters, the station's hospital, and the station's laboratory facilities.
Reactor Module (Sector G)
The sphere-shaped reactor module contains the station's eight massive fusion reactors, which provide main power for the entire station. It is largely uninhabitable.
Communications Array (Sector H)
The communications towers dominate the lowest levels of the station, providing sufficient power and bandwidth to coordinate an entire sector.
First designed over a century ago, the Spacedock-class design has nevertheless stood the test of time thanks to incremental upgrades over the years. While they do not have the bleeding-edge technologies found aboard the newest stations and starships, they are still more than capable of serving an important part in Starfleet's logistics chain. Computer systems use the latest LCARs touch panels and many stations have now been upgraded to include holographic interfaces in the most important command spaces, alongside station-wide holographic projectors.
The station's massive fusion reactors are located in the spherical module at the end of the station's 'stalk', eight of them in total that are each larger than most starships. This power is channeled into inertial dampening systems and an array of 128 maneuvering thrusters located all around the station to keep it in position or to change its orbit. Indeed, these stations are also capable of moving under their own power within a star system, should the need arise, though this is rarely done.
The station's communications facilities are its most advanced system. As with the Aurora-class spacedock, they have been kept at the forefront of technological trends because of the important role they play in the Subspace Relay Network.
Docking & Cargo Facilities
As the name suggests, Spacedock-class stations are designed to service large amounts of starship and small craft traffic. The main docking bay--usually just called the spacedock--is capable of accommodating sixteen starships at its central docking tower, and as many moored within the bay but not docked directly to the station. Unlike either the Guardian or Aurora-class spacedocks, the Spacedock-class does not have external docking ports; starships must either enter the spacedock or orbit the station. Four large arms extend from the tower, with several extendable gangways which can hold two small or medium-sized starships per side, or one explorer-type ship. The base of this tower contains numerous hangers for runabouts and shuttles. Starships are constructed in the lower levels of the docking bay, where they won't impede traffic to the tower while under construction. On the exterior of the main docking bay are sixteen large hangers, which service both shuttles and runabouts.
The lower modules are dotted with twenty-two additional shuttle bays and two small drydocks in the commercial module, which are capable of handling freighters and small starships. Cargo bays are similarly spread throughout the station, concentrated in the commercial module and in the lower levels of the spacedock.
The station's auxiliary craft fleet is large, with a hundred shuttles and two dozen runabouts in its standard complement, alongside innumerable work bees and light duty tugs. The station can also host four squadrons of sixteen fighters, but these are typically only found on stations in vulnerable areas.
Spacedock-class stations mount both phasers and torpedo launchers, with their weapons arranged into several bands that provide coverage for the full height of the station, with a total of 84 phaser arrays and 24 torpedo launchers. The primary weapons bands have eight torpedo turrets and eight phaser arrays spaced out at 22.5 degree intervals, located on the dorsal surface of the spacedock and the arboretum module, and in the central trench of the reactor module. Secondary weapons bands are phasers-only, with eight phasers at 45 degree intervals on the dorsal surface of the arboretum module, the upper end of the habitat module, and the upper end of the reactor module. The rim of the spacedock has an additional thirty-six phaser arrays at 10 degree intervals.
The station is most vulnerable from the bottom, but its weapons' ranges are long enough that it's very difficult for enemy vessels to get into such an attack vector. With some of the most powerful sensors in Starfleet, threats are detected long before they arrive, which gives the station's support craft time to get into position to defend it. In addition, it's very rare that there would be no visiting starships who wouldn't participate in the defense as well.
The station's primary shield generators are located in four domes under the arboretum module, providing exceptional performance and the ability to resist all but the most sustained attacks. They use graviton shielding, but options are being considered to upgrade them to regenerative shielding.
Population & Stationboard Life
Truly cities in space, Spacedock-class stations often house civilian populations of 40,000 or more. Along with their standard Starfleet crew complement of 60,000, they have a maximum complement of 150,000. Despite having less mass than the Guardian-class, they have the same minimum crew requirements, because their older systems require more maintenance. Spacedocks closer to the frontier often house lots of civilians intending to strike out as settlers, so they have a large turn-over, but stations closer to the heart of the Federation tend to house many civilian Federation employees or the families of their crew.
Civilians are mostly housed in the commercial module between the arboretum and the spacedock, where smaller civilian vessels are also accommodated. This keeps them within the defensive coverage of the station's primary weapons and close to commercial areas. Starfleet crew are housed lower in the station in the habitat module under the arboretum, so they must rely on the travel core to commute to work. Accommodations are spacious, with most crewmembers having their own quarters. There are dozens of holodecks and holosuites, as well as other recreational areas. The main place for rest and relaxation on the station is its arboretum deck, which provides lots of parkland and freestanding structures. The promenade rings promenade under the terrain, with several kilometers worth of shops, bars, and other entertainments.
The station's hospital is located in the module above the reactor, and is one of the largest spaceborne hospitals in the galaxy, with four thousand patient beds in both wards and private rooms. As with other large stations, infirmaries are spread throughout the station as well.
For many years Starfleet depended on single-ship orbital platform facilities for the construction and maintenance of its starships. However, the rapid expansion of the Federation during the late 22nd and early 23rd centuries was fueling an increase in the size of Starfleet and the existing platforms were becoming unable to cope. By 2264 Starfleet was petitioning for a major new orbital facility to be built, and in 2266 it was decided to proceed with this project. The requirement was for a space station which would put all the refining, processing, manufacturing and assembly facilities required for manufacture and maintenance of starships into one place. When finished in 2278 the station was essentially a small city, dedicated to Starship production. This enabled Starfleet to eliminate much of the transportation requirements previously involved in starship construction, the resources saved by this centralization covered the initial outlay for Spacedock within ten years.
Once it was realized that such efficiency savings could be achieved, it was decided to proceed with further stations in other major systems. Starfleet ordered two dozen more stations, but this would not be realized for several decades. Though the initial design for Earth Spacedock was highly successful, as early of 2289 there were concerns that the design was already too small for newer starship classes, with the Excelsior-class barely fitting through the space doors. The Spacedock stations needed considerable redesign and refit of their main docking area in order to accommodate larger ships.
Several options were considered, including external docking cradles (which defeated the purpose of a centralized interior hanger) or simply making the doors larger, but it was decided instead to scale the design up significantly. The design process took until the beginning of the 24th century, when the smaller Aurora-class was already being built. The first of the Spacedock-class stations to be built outside of the Sol system was complete in 2327, and by 2399 there were dozens more spread across the Federation.
The Spacedock In-Play
- One of the largest plot holes created by Star Trek: The Next Generation was the fact that the Enterprise-D seemed to fit through doors on Starbase 72 which were identical to the ones used by the original Enterprise. This is because the footage of the larger ship was super-imposed over the smaller one to save money. Fans have posited that this meant that Earth Spacedock was enlarged to handle bigger ships. We have taken the point of view that stations of this type other than ESD are, in fact, much larger than the original. Spacedock-class stations were inspired by Earth Spacedock but are a much larger type station.
- Other than the Guardian, the Spacedock-class is the largest structure in the Federation. They're massive. DS9 is less than a rest stop compared to the city-in-space that you find here. That's why they're not available for member-controlled stations.
- The character of a base like this is sedate and cosmopolitan, not rough and dangerous like DS9 was.
- A station of this class could comfortably house dozens of starships all at once.
Notable Fourth Fleet Spacedock-class stations
Currently, Starbase 72, is the only Spacedock-class station in the Fourth Fleet. It is the headquarters of Starbase 72, and is currently the largest station on the Federation-Cardassian border, second only in important to Deep Space 9.