The launch bay is the area of a starship from which shuttlecraft and other small craft may be launched, and where they are docked when not in use. The term was in common use in the 22nd century; by the 23rd century, the term shuttlebay was more common.
The NX class starship had a launch bay capable of holding two shuttlepods that is located on the aft underside of the ship. Shuttlepods ingressed and egressed through two sliding ventral doors, which were controlled from a control station on the upper gantry level. (ENT: "Cold Front") The launch bay is equipped with a telescoping arm to guide craft through these bay doors.