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Starbase 1

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Starbase 1
Starbase 1.jpg

Starbase 1

Type: Orbital Docking Station
Owner: United Federation of Planets
Operator: Starfleet
Status: Active (2259)

Starbase 1 was a space station in Earth orbit and was constructed some time prior to 2258. (Star Trek)


Starbase 1 was composed of a central spherical habitat. At the midpoint of this sphere, there was a ring. This ring had six spokes, ending in saucers. These multideck saucers, labeled as A to F, were each the location of berths, numbered from 0 to 6. The berths had retractable docking clamps. (Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness)


In 2258, the USS Enterprise was docked at the starbase before its maiden voyage, when it left to answer a distress call from the planet Vulcan alongside the USS Antares, USS Armstrong, USS Farragut, USS Hood, USS Mayflower, USS Newton, USS Odyssey, USS Truman, and the USS Wolcott. All these ships, except the Enterprise – which left late, due to an error on Sulu's part – were later destroyed by the Narada during the destruction of Vulcan. (Star Trek)

USS Enterprise docked at Starbase 1

The USS Enterprise docked at Starbase 1

The starbase again served as departure point for the Enterprise upon the ship leaving for Kronos in 2259. As Captain James T. Kirk ordered that all moorings be retracted, the docking clamps were removed, just prior to the Enterprise leaving. (Star Trek Into Darkness)


Background information

While this starbase is not referred to by name in the film Star Trek (beyond the lines "dock control" and "separating from spacedock"), the movie's script referred to the facility as "Starbase One". The station was also scripted to be "massive" and appear at the end of the film, though it is absent from the conclusion of the film's theatrical cut. [1]

The genesis of the starbase's design was the concept of an Earth-orbiting spacedock with a central hub. (Star Trek - The Art of the Film, p. 61) This design was devised by the film's production designer, Scott Chambliss. Concept artist Ryan Church recalled, "Everybody had taken a stab at the spaceport, then Scott came up with that idea; I did a lot of illustrations of variations on the basic concept." [2] It was Church who came up with the concept of the starbase having a clear, spherical inner core with radiating docking arms. (Star Trek - The Art of the Film, p. 61) Heavily inspired by this design, Bruce Holcomb – a digital model supervisor from Industrial Light & Magic – built the space station as a highly detailed digital model, using CGI. (Cinefex, No. 118, pp. 56 & 61)

For Star Trek Into Darkness, ILM reused its existing model of the starbase, adding details of operators in the dock's interior as well as the docking clamps, retracting from the Enterprise's hull. (Cinefex, No. 134, p. 82)


Similar to the film's script, the novelization of 2009's Star Trek refers to this base as "Starbase 1". The book also calls the facility "a city in space" and considers the docking situation depicted in the film – whereby the station's gigantic transverse arms are initially all occupied – as being unusual for the starbase.

A digitally rendered depiction of Starbase 1 was included in the 2011 edition of the Ships of the Line calendar, in the image for June (entitled "His Star Trek Will Go On Forever"). This image, created by Tobias Richter, shows the base servicing various starships while the Enterprise departs from the facility.

Most non-canon sources, including the Pocket novels, suggest that the Earth Spacedock first seen in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is the prime universe's Starbase 1. (citation needededit)

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