Image 1 of Enterprise in Space spacedock (side-on view) Image 2 of Enterprise in Space spacedock (rear view)

In Star Trek Chronology, the above two images are featured. I was just wondering what their source is as I don't recall seeing the Enterprise in spacedock during the series or movies.

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    @JasonBaker: do you mean Star Trek: The Motion Picture (the one with V'Ger in it), because in that movie the Enterprise had undergone a refit to have the rectangular warp nacelles which these images don't have. That movie is the only time I ever recall seeing the Enterprise in spacedock too, but that's not it I'm afraid! – Often Right Jun 4 '15 at 1:39
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    @JasonBaker : Do you mean The Motion Picture? I'm just clarifying because the image above shows the Enterprise as it appeared in The Original Series, but The Motion Picture only has the refit Enterprise, which looks quite different from above. – Praxis Jun 4 '15 at 1:39
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    @N.Soong : I wonder if it was art created just for the book? Do you own it? It may have an image credit. – Praxis Jun 4 '15 at 1:50
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    The book is from 1993 I believe, which is a little bit before the time when they started using CGI rendering to draw ships in the Star Trek universe. I'm going with it being an actual model, but I doubt the spacedock part was built in the 60s during the time of TOS. I suspect it is a model of the original Enterprise placed within the drydock frame used in The Motion Picture and Wrath of Khan, and photographed either as a promotion some time after those films or expressly for the book. – Praxis Jun 4 '15 at 1:59
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    @AnthonyX : ENT is from the 2000s and used CGI ships, while the book above is from 1993 and has photos of models. See my answer below. :-) – Praxis Jun 20 '15 at 12:16

After much searching, it seems that the key to understanding the images in the original post is the following concept art:

enter image description here

The notion of an "orbital drydock" for repairing and refitting starships was first developed for Star Trek: Phase II (a television continuation of The Original Series that was aborted in favour of The Motion Picture, with various ideas from the project also being channelled into the film).

The above sketch, made by artist Mike Minor around 1977 while Phase II was being developed, is the original idea for the drydock.

It clearly shows the original USS Enterprise (no refit) in the drydock structure.

When Phase II was abandoned and The Motion Picture was announced, Minor's design was dropped in favour of one by Andrew Probert. The following sketch by Probert (1978) shows an Enterprise that is very close in appearance to the refit one, sitting in the drydock:

enter image description here

What is really important to note is that, according to this detailed site (where I found the above sketches), the first working model of the drydock was built in 1977, two years before The Motion Picture came out.

The 1977 model of the drydock was based expressly on Mike Minor's design, not on Probert's, and was built by Magicam. According to the site, this model "closely resembled the final product" that was seen two years later in The Motion Picture.

Given that the original Magicam drydock was based on Minor's design, which was intended for the original Enterprise, and given that Probert's refit Enterprise wasn't devised until at least a year later, we can conclude that a model of the original Enterprise would have been placed into the 1977 Magicam drydock model — indeed, there is no record of any other type of model of Enterprise existing at that time — thereby creating the most likely source of photos of a non-refitted Enterprise in drydock for Star Trek Chronology.

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  • I believe this is what they showed in Star Trek Into Darkness? It's where they build the U.S.S. Vengeance. – Stark07 Jun 20 '15 at 4:09
  • "the original Magicam drydock was based on Minor's design (...) we can conclude that a model of the original Enterprise would have been placed into the 1977 Magicam drydock model" - wait, are you saying that the drydock in the photos shown in the question is supposed to be based on Minor's design? It looks much more similar to Probert's design, and actually, it looks like it could pretty much be exactly the same drydock design as what appeared in the finished film. – O. R. Mapper Jun 22 '17 at 20:07

The photos you posted are from the space dock in the opening scene in the movie Star Trek II "The Wrath of Khan." The photos are not from the same angle, but it's the same spacedock. You can tell that those photo's are from that particular space dock by the unique windowing of that space dock not seen elsewhere. Lt. Saviik is piloting the Enterprise out of that particular space dock. At the 2:40 & 2:50 mark of the following video you can clearly see the windows I'm talking about and match them up with the photo's you posted.

The photo on the left appears to have rectangular nacelles on my screen. Either way there are no instances of a docked Enterprise in the series or movies anywhere with round nacelles. But to answer the your first question at least partially, as I stated, that spacedock is from "The Wrath of Khan."

To answer the second part of your statement about not remembering when the Enterprise was in space dock.

Aside from Star Trek The Motion Picture, which you have already mentioned, there are other instances of the Enterprise being in space dock. For ST: "The Motion Picture" see 1:28 mark of following video:

The enterprise is clearly seen in space dock in the third movie, "The Search for Spock." At the beginning of the movie the crew steals the Enterprise and the Excelsior gives chase. The enterprise is seen in space dock several times and is seen leaving space dock. Just watching the scene puts a smile on my face, love it when Kirk ignores Starfleet. This is the infamous scene with the famous/infamous warp vs. transwarp drive (that sputters and kerplunks). Here is a Youtube link to that wondrous scene (Check the 4:23 mark if for some reason you don't want to watch the whole clip):

In the sixth movie "The Undiscovered Country" the Enterprise A is seen inside and then leaving space dock. Check out 1:06 of this Youtube clip:

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    Sorry, but they're not the same photos! Yep, that's the same space dock by the looks of it, but you'll notice that the warp nacelles are the rectangular ones - this is the Enterprise refit, not the original Constitution with the cylindrical nacelles! – Often Right Jun 17 '15 at 1:00
  • The photo on the left has the rectangular ones, right? Or is the scan just not clear? There are no instances of the cylindrical ones in space dock. I'll edit my answer to reflect. – JMFB Jun 17 '15 at 1:06
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    Sorry, perhaps the scan isn't clear but both pictures show the cylindrical nacelles – Often Right Jun 17 '15 at 1:09
  • I've tried adding the time indexes for the clips but it just isn't taking for some reason! Anybody who can help out I'd be much obliged – Often Right Jun 17 '15 at 1:11
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    Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Often Right Jun 17 '15 at 3:12

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