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According to Memory Alpha, the Enterprise-D was equipped with a cargo transporter.

What was the largest object or amount of mass that the Enterprise-D could transport on board in a single beam up?

  • Commander Riker’s beard. – Paul D. Waite Aug 20 at 11:38
  • @PaulD.Waite - Commander Riker's ego. ;D – NKCampbell Aug 20 at 13:58
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The official Starfleet Technical Manual refers to the maximum capacity of the Cargo transport on a "Class-1 Starship" (such as the Enterprise NCC-1701) as being '2.8L x 2.5W x 2.0H' or '3.45L x 1.0W x 2.0H' in meters.

While this book is now considered to be non-canonical, it was written by several of the principle designers of the Trek Universe and has been used as a source and reference for four Star Trek motion pictures, and at least one episode of TNG and multiple episodes of Voyager and DS9.

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The cargo pad on the Enterprise-D appears to be of a similar size and shape so it's reasonable to assume that the constraints on transport size are around the same.

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It has been noted that in TNG: Deja Q, at one point Picard orders an entire shuttlecraft (and its human contents) beamed site-to-site into the Shuttlebay. Since a standard shuttle is approx 9.1m x 3m x 4m, it seems logical that he was expecting his crew to tie multiple transporters together and use them in site-to-site mode.

PICARD: This goes against all my better judgment... (keys insignia) Transporter Room Three, lock on to Shuttle One... beam it back to it's bay.


As @Pioneer has pointed out in his comment below, In Nemesis, the Enterprise-E was evidently capable of transporting a Scorpion-class Attack Flier. These don't appear to be much larger than the standard pad above but they're probably the largest thing we actually see being transported in a single pass.

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  • It's weird, it does not look very efficient. (I've not google it); but is there a difference between a transporter for cargo (inanimate objects) and a transporter for living things ? (maybe I will ask that) – Max Jan 1 '14 at 19:35
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    That's covered in the excellent (and fully canon) Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual. I quote; "These units are primarily designed for operation at molecular (non-lifeform) resolution for cargo use, but can be set to quantum (lifeform) resolution if desired, although such usage would entail a signification reduction in payload mass capacity". For the record, the cargo Tranporter on the original Enterprise is rated to carry 22 crewmembers (1.6 metric tonnes?) in an emergency. – Valorum Jan 1 '14 at 19:47
  • I'm pretty sure that they were capable of doing site to site transports of shuttle craft. – Xantec Jan 2 '14 at 0:16
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    To the best of my knowledge that never happened in the trek canon although it may have occurred in the expanded universe. Certainly there's no upper limit on the size of object that can be transported (indeed Voyager itself was transported on one occasion) but I can't remember any time an entire shuttle was transported by a Federation ship – Valorum Jan 2 '14 at 0:59
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    @Richard there is a case of that, during Nemis, a shuttle craft is beamed aboard – Pioneer Jun 6 '15 at 18:15
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For precedent in canon: Not the largest single object, but Worf's half-brother beamed an entire colony and their trappings into a holodeck.

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    There's no particular reason to assume this was done in one go, or with just one transporter. – Valorum Aug 3 '14 at 22:52

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