In the Voyager episode: "Future's End, Part II" Chakotay and B'elanna crash land on earth. A group of renegades in Arizona find the shuttlecraft and take Chakotay and B'elanna hostage.

It wouldn't have been damaged with a hole in it or they wouldn't have survived with no injuries and wouldn't have gotten it repaired so quickly that they could take off when getting rescued.

If they blew it up to gain access they would have damaged the ship again where they could not take off again so quickly.

How were the renegades able to enter a shuttlecraft?

  • 4
    Easy answer: For plot convenience, so they could get captured and give the Doctor his Big Damn Hero moment when he comes to rescue them. Possible in-universe answer (nothing to back this up, so it's just a comment): The shuttle's computer knows that it crashed, people inside might be injured and detects human live signs outside, therefore logically assuming they have come to help (since of course violent rednecks don't exist in the 24th century when the shuttle was programmed) and opens up for easy access to its crew.
    – BMWurm
    Commented May 24, 2015 at 7:18
  • @BMWurm That's what I was wondering. I was wondering if there's an automatic door that opens in case of an emergency crash, as long as the outside atmosphere is breathable. But that really doesn't make sense because think of the repercussions in many ways if the door does open. A primitive culture might come kill the crew. A less technologically advanced culture might gain weaponry, technology, or warp capability, if the door just opened. I was also wondering if there's an outside door opening mechanism that you simply have to push a button and it opens? Maybe somebody else knows.
    – JMFB
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 0:09
  • The shuttle did however crash on Earth and the people approaching are 100% human, maybe there is no time-travel scenario in the programming. Let's hope someone knows :D
    – BMWurm
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 6:43
  • 1
    It might be a safety point that crashed shuttles can be opened from the outside in case the occupants are unconscious or too injured to help themselves, similar to how buses can be accessed relatively easily if they're involved in a crash.
    – CJ Dennis
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 11:19
  • There are probably manual hatch releases available. And without activating any special security functions, which are probably offline after the crash, those releases are still functional. Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 23:40

2 Answers 2


I think there are a couple of things that would may have helped people to open the shuttle.

  • The Shuttle is covered in English writing. There might be instructions or indications of where the door is and how to open it in an emergency.

enter image description here

Such as modern shuttles:

enter image description here

  • The Shuttle crashlanded in Arizona. Arizona could almost pass as a near Earth-like place, so the shuttle could be opened with a button or panel because the atmospheres match.
  • 1
    Arizona might be "near Earth like" but at least we can get Guinness on tap.
    – JohnP
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 20:30

There are a few possibilities, but I think the most likely is brute force, non of the doors or jeffy tube hatches seem to have locking mechanisms in star trek (other than turning off the power), doors have been forced by Data, Worf, Kahn ect, even the jeffy tubes can be forced with that 'suction device' they use

Also the type-6 shuttle has an control panel The hatch could be opened via a control pad next to the impulse engines

Also this seems like a simple to use panel, not complicated like the bridge consoles enter image description here

In the episode I think its a type-9 shuttle but I'm assuming a similar simple control panel, also the doors look like the ones we've seen easily forced

enter image description here

One more thing, in the episode Voy:Innocence Tuvok opens a type-6 from the outside and it doesn't sound like pressed multiple buttons (so it cant be complicated)

So either a: brute force or b: tapping the few controls that are near the door to see what happens (there doesn't look like many buttons)

Most of this is speculation of course, but everything points to star trek doors are easy to force OR as obvious as a door bell is next to a door

  • "the doors [on the type 9 shuttle] look like the ones we've seen easily forced" - if those are supposed to be horizontally sliding doors, this makes me wonder where they slide to. Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 18:23
  • I agree but there are other images of the door opening like a bridge too, I had to choose one, either way if its only powered off and not locked (as seen before) it could be opened with body weight or even a car to pull it open, i could be wrong but there are so few images of the type-9 rear to compare
    – Matt
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 18:27
  • I would hope that in-universe, there is at least some other kind of obstacle, or else it sounds like the mere combination of a total power loss while in space and the internal atmospheric pressure (or, at latest, something leaning/falling against the hatch from the inside) could cause the almost immediate death of everyone in the shuttlecraft. Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 18:47
  • All the doors seem to rely on friction, without power (or locked as they call it) but still needs a fair bit of force. Resting against it wouldn't have an effect, pull it with a car or really pull at it/slide it - they always open. They are always airtight though with or without power though (that's a plus)
    – Matt
    Commented Oct 23, 2016 at 18:53
  • Was "jeffy tube" (twice above) a deliberate colloquialization of the term?
    – Jacob C.
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 18:22

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