The short and eventful working life of Voyager's shuttlecraft is legendary. Rumour has it that even if they don't actually get destroyed they're pretty much guaranteed to be folded, spindled and mutilated. Counting them out and counting them back again is the least we owe them.


Shuttlecraft Status

Shuttlecraft Counting For Beginners

Once upon a time, way back at the start of Season Two, Chakotay managed to get a shuttlecraft blown to bits. A week later Harry Kim followed his superior officer's example and despatched a second one. And, rounding out the hat trick, Tom Paris achieved the fatal crash landing of a third shuttle on Planet Hell the week after that.

And a legend was born.

Well, in the overseas market anyway, since that's the order in which Initiations, Non Sequitur and Parturition were released on video and often aired. In the US, UPN chose to hold over four episodes from Season One and mix them in with the first few shows filmed for Season Two, as a result of which these three were somewhat more spread out. For those of us watching them in consecutive weeks though, it was an immediate cue that Voyager's shuttle attrition rate was going to be pretty high. I was keeping tabs on shuttle usage even before Unity brought along the fourth destroyed shuttle, and that was long before the serious damage of seasons four and five.

Voyager is just one little lonely ship, stranded a long way from home. It has no convenient starbase to slide into for a refit between episodes. The crew manage to repair a lot of damage as they go along, and doubtless they've availed themselves of Delta Quadrant repair facilities along the way as well, but there's still a limit to how much damage the main ship can take and still keep going. Disbelief can be suspended an awfully long way, but eventually there's a point beyond which you can't go. So, if you need to underline how serious the current crisis is by blowing something up you look to something disposable, and the shuttlecraft got themselves elected.

Having said that, Voyager's shuttle losses are a running joke that isn't always supported by the actual numbers. People's memories deceive them. They remember the shuttles that blew up in alternate universes and in holodeck simulations, as well as those that actually did leave an empty space in Voyager's shuttlebays. By the end of season three only four shuttles had actually been destroyed or irretrievably damaged... but folk myth would have you believe the number to be many times that.

Which is one of the reasons why I originally started this page: to set the record straight about how few shuttles have actually been lost. Of course, the people making the programme haven't exactly co-operated. They've been losing shuttles hand over fist ever since! However, since they established in Extreme Risk that Voyager's resources and facilities are equal to building a new shuttlecraft entirely from scratch and in Latent Image that there's a shuttle maintenance team down on Deck 11 whose entire working life is devoted to repairing and/or enhancing the shuttles, they probably feel that they've provided all the explanation they need to on why Voyager's shuttle supply never quite runs out.

Besides, they know people are looking and counting. What started almost by accident is probably by now as much of a production in-joke as the statistically improbable frequency with which the number 47 turns up.

Shuttle Appearance Tally

NOTE: Shuttle outings for seasons six and seven have not yet been tallied in their entirety.

  Lost Or 
 Damaged  Used Without 
 Season One  0 3 1
 Season Two  3 2.5* 8
 Season Three  1 4.5* 8
 Season Four  4 5 2
 Season Five  5 8 5
 Season Six  ? ? ?
 Season Seven  ? ? ?
 Total  13 23 24

* Tom Paris's shuttle was damaged in Basics: 1. The same shuttle was still damaged in Basics: 2 at the start of the following season, so it's only been counted once and split between the two episodes. To do anything else would be the same as counting shuttle damage done in Caretaker or Dark Frontier twice just because they're double length.

Shuttlecraft Graveyard

NOTE: Shuttle outings for seasons six and seven have not yet been tallied in their entirety.

[Shuttle 1]


Shuttle 1: Initiations
Chakotay's shuttle is blown up by the Kazon after he strays into Ogla territory.


[Shuttle 2]


Shuttle 2: Non Sequitur
Harry's shuttle (the Drake) accidentally flys through a timestream and suffers a hull breach. Twice.


[Shuttle 3]


Shuttle 3: Parturition
Tom Paris and Neelix crash land on Planet Hell thoroughly enough that there's no chance of either taking off again or salvaging the shuttle parts for spares.


[Shuttle 4]


Shuttle 4: Unity
Chakotay and Ensign Kaplan's shuttle is broken up for spare parts by a group of former Borg.


[Shuttle 5]


Shuttle 5: The Gift
Kes's shuttle evolves into a higher life form along with the Ocampan. She returned it briefly when she paid a visit during Fury but took it with her again when she left.


[Shuttle 6]


Shuttle 6: Day Of Honor
Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres's shuttle (the Cochrane) suffers an explosive hull decompression after the Caatati take pot shots at it.


[Shuttle 7]


Shuttle 7: Nemesis
Chakotay's shuttle (or the surviving fragments of it) crash lands on a planet when either the Vori or the Kradin open fire on him.


[Shuttle 8]


Shuttle 8: Hunters
Tuvok and Seven of Nine's shuttle is pulled into an imploding singularity, along with the Hirogen ship that captured them.


[Shuttle 9]


Shuttle 9: Drone
Tom Paris, B'Elanna Torres, Seven of Nine and the Doctor's shuttle is caught in the gravimetric sheer of an expanding protonebula.


[Shuttles 10-11]


Shuttles 10-11: Counterpoint
Two shuttles are donated to Brenari refugees, to assist the telepaths' flight from the Devore, with no prospect of them being returned to the original owners.


[Shuttle 12]


Shuttle 12: Gravity
Tom Paris, Tuvok and the Doctor's shuttle crashes on a planet after being pulled into a gravity well that it has no chance of climbing back out of again.


[Shuttle 13]


Shuttle 13: Dark Frontier
A shuttle being remotely controlled by Tom Paris from the Bridge is used as bait for the Borg, who promptly assimilate it.


[Shuttle 14]


Shuttle 14: Unimatrix Zero: 1
The Delta Flyer is used by Janeway, Tuvok and Torres to sneak in close enough to a Borg cube to beam aboard, and is blown up milliseconds after they leave it.