In the show Enterprise, it's mentioned the ship has a complement of about 80 and you also see some of the MACOs sharing quarters in season 3 (although they are not part of the normal crew so it's not clear if this is the norm).

In TNG I think I recall that the ship has about 400 crew (and TOS somewhere in between) and family on board. Yet the ships look pretty similar so I wondered do the ships really get much larger or is it just one of those details which don't tie up across the Star Trek universe - like how the Enterprise ship looks far more like the TNG one than the TOS one even though it's more primitive.


4 Answers 4


Here is a picture of the Enterprises lined up together; the last one is the new version of the Enterprise from the post-2009 movies:

Comparison of _Enterprise_ sizes

The first is the NX-class Enterprise from the Enterprise series; its crew complement appears to be 83.

The second is the original Constitution-class Enterprise from TOS; its crew complement is 205 in the 2250s, then 450 in the 2260s.

The third is the Constitution-class refit Enterprise from TOS movies as well as the identical rebuilt Enterprise after the original was destroyed. It looks like this version from the movies carried closer to the 450 complement.

The fourth is an Excelsior-class refit used in Generations.

The fifth is an Ambassador-class starship which appeared in the TNG episode "Yesterdays Enterprise".

The sixth, the Enterprise-D, is a Galaxy-class starship from the TNG TV series and also featured (and destroyed) in the movie Generations. Crew approximately 1014, plus 200 visiting, 15,000 total emergency rooming.

The seventh, the Enterprise-E, is a Sovereign-class from the TNG movies from First Contact onwards; crew approximately 750-850, 4000 total emergency rooming.

The eighth as I said is the new, larger re-imagined Constitution-class Enterprise from the JJ Abrams alternate universe "Star Trek" and "Into Darkness" (the increased size is due to encountering Nero's huge ship I believe).

  • 1
    Ah, 400 was TOS - wow, 1000+ in TNG is huge :)
    – Mr. Boy
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 15:09
  • 4
    Some arguments that the 2009 Enterprise makes more sense visually as a smaller ship (and was apparently originally designed as such according to a quote from ILM Art Director Alex Jaeger), based on details like window sizes, can be found here.
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 15:53
  • 2
    For completeness' sake it should be noted that for an increase in length (which can be compared well in the above graphic) by factor n, volume will increase by a factor of . Even though the ships are (thankfully!) not just gradually scaled up version of the exact same shape, that is why the Enterprise-D appears to be barely 3 times as long as the NX-01 and yet it has a crew complement of more than 1000 people as opposed to the NX-01's 80 (and the Enterprise-D feels much emptier nonetheless). Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 16:03
  • 1
    Great answer. Would be even better if you could add the class designations for each. I know Galaxy and Sovereign, but not the others.
    – Red_Shadow
    Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 16:21
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    I had no idea the Abrams-verse NCC-1701 was so bloody huge! Commented Jan 12, 2015 at 21:57

While the ships share a similar appearance, with a saucer and two warp nacelles, they scale up in size as they were developed. The new size is reflected in the number of crew each ship supported.

  • Enterprise (NX-01), crew of 82
  • Enterprise (NCC-1701), living quarters for 200-400
  • Enterprise-D (Galaxy class), living quarters for 1014
  • Enterprise-E (Sovereign class), living quarters for 750

In the original series we only see quarters for bridge officers, other senior officers, and a few junior officers. All seemed to be some reconfigured versions of Captain Kirk's three-room(one assumes there was a private bathroom) suite. One never sees enlisted crew quarters, such as the stacked bunks as was seen in the movie ST:The Undiscovered Country. Of course, in some material I've read, it was asserted that Starfleey was an all officer service. An argument my Father, a retired USAF Chief Master Sergeant, never bought into. In ST:TNG we see a cabin door opened from a corridor showing a bed and little else. It was also acknowledge that there were enlisted, and NCO crew personal, "...I'm not an officer, I work for a living" as Chief O'Brine so assertively stated. Templerman aka William York.

  • Which is odd in itself since we know they are 'enlightened' enough not to have money ;)
    – Mr. Boy
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 11:03
  • Referencing Mr. Boy's comment: Kirk often made reference to "Scotty and others earning their pay". I suspect these were archetypal references, idealizing someone performing above and beyond what is expected. It seems that several times throughout the franchise we have heard characters talk about burning through their transporter credits et.al. If you have a technological base like they have, power equals material, equals comforts, and other needs. All that's left is dividing it up in an equitable fashion. Even so, given a choice between their world and ours, I would choose theirs hands down.
    – templerman
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 2:31

For those that may not know, the first Enterprise concept was a wood model with a spherical main section. The nacelles were pointed downward. It may have been Gene -- I don't know -- that said, "flip it over." Then it became figure B. He said, "That's it." I don't how the transition from sphere to saucer occurred.

enter image description here

  • 2
    This doesn't really answer the question, which is about ship size, not designs.
    – Obsidia
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 4:03

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