10 Devices Every Starfleet Ship Has

The appearance of all Starfleet ships dates back to the original USS Enterprise, designed by Matt Jefferies in the 60s. Series creator Gene Roddenberry was looking for an out-of-the-box aesthetic that stood out from typical designs of classic science fiction “rockets”.

The show team did an exceptional job of making the ship believable and giving every detail a clear purpose. In fact, they were so successful in their design that Starfleet ships retained that look for generations. Almost all ships have a primary hull, connected to a saucer section by a neck, with pylons protruding from the sides of the primary hull to support warp pods.

Aside from these similarities in appearance, the ships also share most of the same technology as the original Enterprise. Although Voyager might look a little sleeker than the Enterprise-D, they share nearly every major system, like every other ship in the fleet. So today, let’s explore 10 devices that can be found on every Starfleet ship!

Starfleet has come a long way since the days of Archer’s Enterprise when, to tow materials, the ship had to deploy a physical grappling hook. By the time of The Original Series, Starfleet had adopted the much sleeker “tractor beam”.

A tractor beam works on the same principle as the ship’s artificial gravity. It projects graviton particles which can hold an object in place using the force of gravity and pull or push it away. Starfleet uses these devices to tow damaged ships, move dangerous asteroids, land shuttles safely, and hold fleeing ships in place.

Each Federation starship is equipped with several tractor beam emitters. They can even be reconfigured for specialized tasks, such as producing earthquakes on a planet (as we see in the episode Next Generation Devil’s Due) or deflecting weapons (in the episode Deep Space Nine Way Of The Warrior ). Tractor Beams are generally only used at sub-warp speeds, as towing something too fast with a Tractor Beam usually causes stress on the ship.