Spacedock Class

From Bravo Fleet
This article is official Bravo Fleet canon.

Federation Faction Starfleet

Spacedock-class stations are an iconic symbol of the Starfleet and the United Federation of Planets itself. Intended to centralize starship construction and fleet command functions into one unified structure, the Spacedock class led to an entire category of stations that includes the largest structures in the Federation well into the 25th century. While they were succeeded in production in the 2320s by the larger Spacedock II, which in turn was succeeded by the Probert in the 2380s, many stations of this class remain in service around the Federation. The original Earth Spacedock herself has the distinction of housing the Starfleet Museum fleet in her own retirement over Athan Prime.


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 successor, the Spacedock II class, she 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. This is identical to the arrangement of the Spacedock II.

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 30,000 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 in the mid-2200's, 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 64 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.

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 doors on this station are 300 meters wide, but the interior arrangement of the station precludes servicing vessels much longer than the 511 meters of the Excelsior-class heavy cruiser. This makes the Spacedock a useful base for frigates and science vessels, but it simply can't accomodate most modern starships. Some stations of this class, such as Spacedock One in her retirement configuration at the Starfleet Museum, have had their arboretums modified to serve as a secondary docking bay which can house a single large starship, such as a Galaxy-class explorer. This modification has only been undertaken on stations that orbit M-class worlds, as the loss of green space for the crew is a major trade-off.

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 two squadrons of sixteen fighters, but these are typically only found on stations in vulnerable areas.

Defensive Capabilities

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 42 banks and 12 torpedo launchers. The primary weapons bands have four torpedo turrets and four phaser banks spaced out at 45 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 four phasers at 90 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 18 phaser banks at 20 degree intervals. Each individual bank is concealed beneath the hull when not in use, and has four Type-X arrays mounted on semi-spherical turrets.

Thanks to their large reactors, these stations can survive extended assaults under powerful graviton shields, but they couldn't hold up to a concerted attack by a large fleet. For this, they rely on starship to defend them. By the 25th century, these stations are unlikely to be found in critical strategic areas, but some of them have been relocated to areas once served by smaller stations and their tactical capabilities are far superior to most smaller stations, other than the newer Unity-class stations.

Population & Stationboard Life

As with all spacedocks, the Spacedock class is a city in space. At its maximum capacity, they house 50,000 Starfleet and civilian personnel. As many of these stations have been moved to lesser duty stations, they often operate with smaller crews than they would have in their heyday, which makes them seem especially sleepy and quiet, as their large halls and facilities are often quite empty.

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 two thousand patient beds in both wards and private rooms. As with other large stations, infirmaries are spread throughout the station as well. A handful of these stations have been identified by Starfleet Medical for conversion to full-fledged hospital stations with the capabilities to treat tens of thousands of patients.

Class History

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. 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.

While the development of more capacious Aurora and Spacedock II-class stations continued, the existing Spacedock-class stations in service proved to be substantial improvements over the smaller stations they replaced. While some sites originally slated for Spacedocks were built as Spacedock II-class stations instead, the class remains in service. Some of these stations were refit in the mid-2300s to add a large bay in place of their arboretum to serve as a stop-gap while the larger classes were still being built.

Though they can't handle large starships without modification, they are still excellent command and control hubs. Indeed, efforts to replace Earth Spacedock itself were thwarted on several occasions, and the original remained in service up to the 2380s when it was replaced by the new Probert-class Sol Station. The original Spacedock was relocated to Athan Prime and now serves in retirement as the core of the Starfleet Museum. Most other Spacedocks have also been moved from their original positions to less important duty stations further from the core, which has brought greater capabilities to the frontier as the core stations are being replaced by larger classes.


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 74 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 these are actually two different classes. This point was proven in Star Trek: Picard, when the Enterprise-D had to be housed in a special bay lower on the station. Spacedock II-class stations were inspired by Earth Spacedock but are a much larger type station.
  • Though not the largest stations in the Federation anymore, these are still quite large--(small) cities in space.
  • The character of a base like this is sedate and cosmopolitan, not rough and dangerous like DS9 was, but as more and more of them find themselves on the edges of Federation space, they will start to see more colorful characters show up.