The USS Heart of Gold (NCC-42) was a Federation starship operated by Starfleet. This ship was on active duty in the 24th century.

In 2364, this starship was commanded by Douglas Adams. In that year, this starship was assigned a survey mission of Sector 500. Prior to its survey, it received an order from Dent Arthur Dent of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation. In this order, the captain was ordered to avoid a range of subsectors and to refrain from using strong interferometry scans of another subsector. That order had been supported by Fleet Tactical Command and dealt with diplomatic negotiations with the Antican government. This captain was to acknowledge this order on subspace com net security code 045, code 100 alpha.

Later that year, this order was read by Lieutenant Commander Data during an investigation into an alleged conspiracy in the highest levels of Starfleet Command. (TNG: "Conspiracy" okudagram)

This starship was only mentioned in writing.
The name, registry number 42, captain, and other information in the order were all references to the novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. As a consequence, this starship had the lowest known NCC designation of the canonical Federation starships.

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