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An asteroid belt or asteroid field is a collection of asteroids that usually orbit a star in a roughly toroidal shape. Asteroids in such belts range from grain-sized to many kilometers in diameter. Asteroid fields contain space debris and are usually the remains of a planet's destruction.
Around the late 23rd century, asteroid belts were quantified by their Shiller rating. In 2266, the Constitution-class USS Enterprise pursued an unregistered J class cargo vessel into an asteroid belt with a Shiller rating of three-five. (TOS: "Mudd's Women")
Asteroids in belts also have size and atmosphere type classifications. In 2267, shuttlecraft Galileo for example entered an asteroid belt consisting of 7,000 bodies of sizes running from types A to N, thirty-four percent of which had atmospheres of types H to M. (TOS: "Metamorphosis")
Asteroid belt locations and incidentsEdit
The maiden voyage of the USS Enterprise-B took the vessel through the asteroid belt of the Terran system with a course beyond Pluto before returning to spacedock. They soon intercepted a distress call from the transport ship Lakul and moved to intercept. (Star Trek Generations)
During the Federation-Tzenkethi War, the USS Okinawa was attacked by three Tzenkethi raiders, which then fled into an asteroid belt. Captain Leyton took the Okinawa in after them, despite the protestations of Benjamin Sisko. (DS9: "Paradise Lost")
In 2366, the USS Enterprise-D searched the remains of Orelious IX, which was nothing more than an asteroid field. Within the asteroid field, they discovered an intact 14th century Promellian battle cruiser but also found an ancient booby trap that almost destroyed them. (TNG: "Booby Trap")
In 2370, the Enterprise-D entered the asteroid field in the Devolin system, under orders from Starfleet Command and Rear Admiral Erik Pressman, on a salvage mission to recover the remains of the USS Pegasus. (TNG: "The Pegasus"; ENT: "These Are the Voyages...")
Major Kira Nerys, Doctor Julian Bashir, and Keiko O'Brien took the USS Volga into an asteroid field in the Gamma Quadrant in late 2372. They were almost clear when an asteroid hit their Danube-class Runabout, which destroyed a fuel pod. Kira and Bashir recalled the incident several weeks later. (DS9: "Body Parts", "Apocalypse Rising")
In 2373, before General Martok's captaincy of the starship, the IKS Rotarran trapped a Cardassian vessel between itself and an asteroid field. Three Jem'Hadar warships came out of the asteroid field, forced the Rotarran to withdraw, and saved the Cardassians. (DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire")
In 2374, a Species 8472 bio-ship fled into an asteroid belt while being pursued by a Hirogen warship. The Alpha Hirogen believed the pilot of the bio-ship was not attempting to hide but was instead preparing for a final stand. (VOY: "Prey")
In 2378 and before the USS Voyager's return to Earth, it dropped off Neelix in a resource-rich asteroid field. The field also contained an asteroid that was home to a distant Talaxian colony. Alien miners planned to harvest the ore of the Talaxians' asteroid, which would render it uninhabitable. By helping erect shield generators, Neelix prevented the bellicose miners from destroying the asteroid-colony and saved his fellow Talaxians. (VOY: "Homestead")