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It was demonstrated in the movie 'Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home' that the transporter system aboard a Klingon Bird-of-Prey could be used to transport two adult humpback whales (George and Gracie) plus a massive 18,000 cubic feet of sea water into a transparent aluminum tank, built into the ship's hold to receive them.

Combining both the whales and water results in a massive transport, which leads to the question: Has a larger single transport ever been done? How much can actually be transported in a single pass?

  • For reference, in The Voyage Home Scotty says that they had to transport "four hundred tons" of whales and water, or "eighteen thousand cubic feet of water". Chakoteya – Xantec May 7 '14 at 0:33
  • Thanks @Xantec, I just found that too and was coming back to edit it into the question. – Morgan May 7 '14 at 0:39
  • Probably the maximum single transport capacity is limited by the targeting scanners (can they encompass the entire mass) and the memory capacity available in the transporter buffers. – Xantec May 7 '14 at 1:34
  • This maybe of interest. Not exactly a dup. scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/47246/… – Major Stackings May 7 '14 at 3:08
  • @MajorStackings -I saw that when I was forming the question but rejected it as too narrow and specific to answer the question considering the sheer volume transported by that Bird of Prey. – Morgan May 7 '14 at 5:20
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In the VOY episode "Distant Origin", the Voth transported Voyager (which is a little bit bigger than a couple of whales) to the inside of their city ship:

The Voth city ship was massive and extremely powerful in comparison with Starfleet vessels – the Voth were able to beam the USS Voyager into a chamber inside their vessel which could clearly house many more starships.

  • Wow. That's a 344m long x 130m wide x 63m high, 700,000 metric ton Intrepid-class starship. – Morgan May 7 '14 at 6:20
  • I can't imagine any transport surpassing that unless it's the Voth doing it. – Morgan May 7 '14 at 19:59
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Per my answer here, the largest object that a Federation Transporter can transport without special engineering assistance is 2.8L x 2.5W x 2.0H or 3.45L x 1.0W x 2.0H, equivalent to a large cargo container.

The Bird of Prey contain several transporters and these can be used in "site to site" mode to transport a very considerable volume if they're all tied in together and used at the same time.


As far as the largest transport seen on screen, in the episode "Distant Origin", the U.S.S. Voyager (which as Morgan points out in his comment above is a 344m long x 130m wide x 63m high, 700,000 metric ton Intrepid-class starship) is transported inside a massive Voth city-ship;

KIM: No response. They're locking onto the ship with an energy beam. It's cutting right through our shields! Some sort of transporter.

JANEWAY: Report.

KIM: We've been beamed inside the alien vessel.

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The maximum transport size will usually be a function of the transporter type ( shuttlecraft, personnel, cargo etc. ) and what the current storyline requires. A non-canon book discusses transporting a star.

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    Can you remember which book?# – Valorum May 7 '14 at 6:12
  • "and what the current storyline requires." +1 – Mazura Jun 21 '16 at 0:06
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In the VOY episode Prime Factors (Season 1 Episode 9) the aliens are found to possess a transporter-like technology that should have been able to transport the whole ship up to 40,000 light years. Of course there was a technical incompatibility that prevented it from working (and ruining the whole premise of the show), but it is a canon-use of a transporter with at least the potential to move a very large object.

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    That was actually a method of folding space, which is quite a different process than the transporters. Spatial Trajector – Xantec May 7 '14 at 1:51

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