Memory Alpha
Memory Alpha
MA PIC arrowhead.png
This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Picard, and thus may contain spoilers.

A space shuttle orbiter was a type of low-orbit spacecraft developed on Earth by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States of America.


The Enterprise (OV-101) was the prototype orbiter for the space shuttle system. The launch system used by the first vessels constructed of this model consisted of an orbiter vehicle, an external liftoff tank, and two rocket boosters. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

The shuttle program used Spacehab as a provider of cargo modules. (Star Trek: Enterprise opening credits)


In April 1981, the Columbia was launched into space on her maiden voyage. This mission was the first of 133 orbital missions completed by the Columbia and her sister ships over the next thirty years. Sadly, two additional missions ended in tragedy with the Challenger destroyed during launch in 1986 and the Columbia disintegrating during reentry in 2003. This first generation of space shuttle orbiters was retired in 2011 and subsequently replaced by the second generation of space shuttle orbiters like the OV-165. (PIC: "Two of One")

List of orbiters

NASA's first series of orbiters have been honored by having several future starships named for them. (listed in order shuttles became operational)

The astronauts selected for the STS-107 mission were Richard Douglas Husband, William Cameron McCool, David McDowell Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Michael Phillip Anderson, Laurel Clark, and Ilan Ramon. The mission insignia was later seen in 2143, along with other NASA mission insignia in the 602 Club. (ENT: "First Flight")
In 1992, Columbia carried a portion of Gene Roddenberry's ashes into space during the STS-52 mission. Tragically, the Columbia and her crew were lost during re-entry eleven years later on mission STS-107.
Mission insignia for two Challenger missions were displayed in the bar in Bozeman, Montana in 2063. (Star Trek: First Contact)
Challenger was replaced by Endeavour
The cast and crew of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home dedicated their film to the astronauts of the shuttle Challenger after it was lost in 1986.
The mission insignia for STS-33 was displayed in the bar in Bozeman, Montana in 2063. (Star Trek: First Contact) Two other mission insignia were displayed in the 602 Club in 2143. (ENT: "First Flight")


Admiral Maxwell Forrest kept two models of a space shuttle in his office on Earth. (ENT: "Regeneration")

After Jonathan Archer restored a damaged timeline, a space shuttle lifting off could be seen in the time stream as the timeline realigned itself. (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")

A sketch depicting an overhead view of a space shuttle was contained in the library computer aboard the USS Enterprise in 2254. (TOS-R: "The Cage")


Background information

The first flight of the Columbia, and of the Space Shuttle Program, in 1981 is one of the real world events referenced in the Star Trek Chronology (1st ed., p. 15).

External links