USS Voyager (Star Trek)

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USS Voyager (NCC-74656)
the USS Voyager, NCC-74656
First appearance "Caretaker"
Launched 2371
General characteristics
Class Intrepid
Registry NCC-74656
Maximum speed Warp 9.975
Armaments Tricobalt Device[1]
Photon torpedoes
Defenses Shields
Propulsion Warp drive
and Impulse engines
RCS Thrusters
Length 343 meters
Width 116 meters[2]

The fictional Intrepid-class starship USS Voyager is the primary setting of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Voyager. It is commanded by Captain Kathryn Janeway. Voyager was designed by Star Trek: Voyager production designer Richard D. James and illustrator Rick Sternbach. Most of the ship's on-screen appearances are computer-generated imagery (CGI), although models were also sometimes used. The ship's motto, as engraved on its dedication plaque, is a quote from the poem Locksley Hall by Alfred, Lord Tennyson: "For I dipt in to the future, far as human eye could see; Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be."

The Voyager made its television debut in January 1995 in Caretaker, the most expensive pilot in television history, reportedly costing $23 million.[3][4] In addition to its namesake television show, the spacecraft also appeared in the computer game Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force (2000).[5] The spacecraft design was also used for Star Trek: The Experience, a theme park in Las Vegas from 1998 to 2008, and as album art.[6][7]

Concept and Design[edit]

Rick Sternbach (who designed the Borg cube for The Next Generation) and Richard James collaborated over several months to design the 'USS Voyager.[8] Sternbach started work on the new design in the fall of 1993 when the new series was announced. By spring of 1994 the design had started to mature, and was smaller then The Next Generation's Enterprise-D with features like the ability to land on a planet's surface. The interior design focused on the bridge, which set the tone for the rest of ship. Throughout the design process, the main goal was to make it new and appealing while still holding in part to the same familiar design.[9]

Voyager special effect shots were done with both miniatures and CGI. The miniature shots of the Voyager model were used as a benchmark to improve the CGI shots.[10] Two different computer models were developed from the physical model by two different companies that scanned it, Amblin Imaging and Foundation Imaging.[10] Amblin won an Emmy for Voyager's opening CGI title visuals featuring USS Voyager passing through space, but the weekly episode exteriors were captured with hand-built miniatures of Voyager. By late 1996 (midway through season three), certain exterior shots were fully CGI.[11] Another challenge of the design was coordinating the interior set design with exterior shots, in particular the location of key rooms and the design of windows.[9] These are important for example in shots that cross-over from outside the spacecraft to inside the spacecraft in one filming shot.[9]

The principal model of Voyager used for filming sold at Christie's auction in 2006 for USD $132,000.[12]


Voyager was launched in 2371. The crew's first orders were to track down a Maquis ship in the Badlands. An alien force called the Caretaker transported both Voyager and the Maquis vessel across 70,000 light-years to the Delta Quadrant, damaging Voyager and killing several crewmembers (including the medical staff, helm officer Stadi, and the chief engineer). To prevent a genocide of the Ocampans, Janeway orders the destruction of a device that could transport Voyager and the Maquis vessel home.[clarification needed] Stranded, and with the Maquis ship also destroyed, both crews integrate and work together for the anticipated 75-year journey home.[1]

Starfleet Command eventually becomes aware of the ship's presence in the Delta Quadrant and is later able to establish regular communication.[13] After a seven-year journey, the ship returns to the Alpha Quadrant via a Borg transwarp conduit with the aid of the time-traveling Admiral Kathryn Janeway (former Captain of Voyager) from an alternate future.[14] The character was played by actress Kate Mulgrew and at one point Geneviève Bujold.[3]

Design and capabilities[edit]

The 15-deck (257 rooms), 700,000 ton Voyager was built at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards and launched from Earth Station McKinley.[15]

Voyager is equipped with 47 bio-neural gel packs and also two holodecks.[1][16] It was the first ship with a class-9 warp drive, allowing for a maximum sustainable speed of Warp 9.975.[15] Variable geometry pylons allow Voyager and other Intrepid-class ships to exceed warp 5 without damaging subspace. Like the Galaxy-class, Voyager's warp nacelles are below the primary hull, and the ship is also capable of planetary landings.[17][18] Unlike the Galaxy Class, the ship cannot separate the saucer during an emergency; instead, it ejects the warp core.[citation needed]

Voyager also has an Emergency Medical Hologram, which is even capable of leaving the sickbay thanks to a mobile emitter, programmed with a library of more than 5 million different medical treatments from 2,000 medical references and 47 physicians.[2]

The ship is initially equipped with 38 photon torpedoes with type VI warheads and two tricobalt devices, both of which are used to destroy the Caretaker's array.[1] Quantum torpedoes were also compatible with Voyager's launchers, with some modification. Voyager housed five standard torpedo launchers (two fore, two aft, one ventral) able to fire up to four torpedoes per launcher at once.[19] In the final episode, an alternate future Kathryn Janeway equips the ship with transphasic torpedoes and ablative hull armor.[14]

During the years in the Delta Quadrant, the ship is augmented with custom, non-spec upgrades and modifications, some of which are modified from technology of other cultures, an example being Seven of Nine's alcoves and the Delta Flyer which both utilize modified Borg technology. Several pieces of technology from the future were also installed in the final episode, courtesy of Admiral Janeway who went back in time to bring Voyager home.[14] Some of the adaptive solutions are to compensate for the disadvantages of being 70,000 light years from port, such as the airponics bay and the transformation of the Captain's dining room to a galley, and the acquisition of enhancements from aliens in the Void that massively increases replicator efficiency.[20]

The Borg are a major source of technological upgrades conducted on Voyager. Cargo bay 2 is equipped with several Borg alcoves when Captain Janeway forms an alliance with the Borg and several Borg are forced to work aboard Voyager during the alliance.[21] Seven of Nine and Harry Kim build an astrometrics lab from scratch with Borg-enhanced sensors, knowledge of which Seven of Nine retained from the Borg.[22] Additionally, the crew designed and built the Delta Flyer support craft at the behest of the character Tom Paris later in the series.

In many cases the spacecraft is damaged but the crew is able to repair it.[23] An important part of the spacecraft for the series is the holodeck, with upwards of 20 episodes focusing on this sub-area of the spacecraft.[23] Sexual encounters with holograms was a common topic in Voyager series.[23]


One of Voyager's shuttles, the Aeroshuttle, was integrated with the hull in the saucer section and although it was never used in an episode, the production team did develop special effects test footage of it disembarking.[24] Voyager's Aeroshuttle was intended as a warp-capable vessel that could also fly in atmospheres; the footage was made by CGI team leaders Rob Bonchune and Adam Lebowitz, along with the VFX Producer Dan Curry.[24] Two other craft, the Manta and Cochrane were also developed but not used.[24][25]

The series was famous for the large number of shuttle-craft destroyed during its run, with some jokingly suggesting the ship must have been able to make new craft.[23]

In popular culture[edit]

In computer gaming[edit]

The Voyager design appeared in Star Trek: Voyager which originally aired on UPN network from 1995-2001, but was also used in a number of computer/video games in that period in various capacities. An important one was Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force which came out in 2000.[26] This was a computer game style known as a First Person Shooter and received a positive reception by the gaming community at that time.[26][27] Voyager Elite Force was ranked second out of ten of the best Star Trek games up to 2015.[28] It's sequel was published in 2003. One game based on the show, Voyager (circa 1995) was cancelled but has been an influence on other games since.[29][30]


The model making company Revell released a plastic model of USS Voyager.[31] Another pre-built offering was made of metal, and a reviewer praised the "swooshy" "arrowhead" style of the design.[31] The form of the design commonly appears in relation to Voyager merchandise, or elsewhere in places that make use of Star Trek franchise content; for example a view of USS Voyager was shown as album art for a 4-CD music collection from the show released in 2017.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Caretaker". Star Trek: Voyager. 
  2. ^ a b "Parallax". Star Trek: Voyager. 
  3. ^ a b Kim, Albert (September 23, 1994). "Genevieve Bujold Abandons 'Star Trek: Voyager'". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. 
  4. ^ Franklin, Garth (October 4, 2016). "A Closer Look At The 'Westworld' Budget". Dark Horizons. Dark Futures Pty. 
  5. ^ "Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force Review". 
  6. ^ "Star Trek: The Experience - Borg Invasion 4D". 18 March 2004 – via IMDb. 
  7. ^ Staff, TrekCore. "STAR TREK: VOYAGER Soundtrack Arriving This Month - TrekCore Blog". 
  8. ^ "Illustrator/Designer Rick Sternbach Recalls His Trek Days, Part 1". Viacom. October 28, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c "Disqus - Designing the USS Voyager". 
  10. ^ a b "Voyager, another fine looking starship". 
  11. ^ "DVD Reviews – Star Trek Voyager Season 3". June 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-19. 
  12. ^ "Star Trek". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "Message in a Bottle". Star Trek: Voyager. 
  14. ^ a b c "Endgame". Star Trek: Voyager. 
  15. ^ a b "Relativity". Star Trek: Voyager. 
  16. ^ "The Killing Game". Star Trek: Voyager. 
  17. ^ "Star Trek". Retrieved 5 April 2015. 
  18. ^ "The 37's". Star Trek: Voyager. 
  19. ^ "Resolutions". Star Trek: Voyager. 
  20. ^ "The Void". Star Trek: Voyager. 
  21. ^ "Scorpion". Star Trek: Voyager. 
  22. ^ "Year of Hell". Star Trek: Voyager. 
  23. ^ a b c d Easterbrook, Gregg (4 September 2001). "Newton and the Salary Cap" – via Slate. 
  24. ^ a b c "Aeroshuttle test footage, and more Voyager behind the scenes goodies". 
  25. ^ "Star Trek: Voyager S2E15 "Threshold" / Recap - TV Tropes". 
  26. ^ a b "Star Trek: Voyager Elite Force Review". 
  27. ^ "Star Trek: Voyager: Elite Force (PC)". IGN. 
  28. ^ "Make It So: The 10 Best Star Trek Games in the Quadrant - Page 10 of 11 - TekRevue". 17 January 2015. 
  29. ^ Chey, Jonathan. "Postmortem: Irrational Games' System Shock 2". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on March 24, 2008. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  30. ^ Scimeca, Dennis (January 12, 2012). "Ken Levine on the Storytelling Craft of BioShock Infinite". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014. 
  31. ^ a b Mccash, Tony (2 August 2014). "The Irate Modeler: Revell U.S.S. Voyager Build". 
  32. ^ Schepis, Rich (1 March 2017). "Limited Edition "Star Trek: Voyager" 4-CD Collection Out Now". 

External links[edit]