I just came across this amazing piece of artwork featuring the mushroom shaped Spacedock and what looks like an Ambassador-Class Starship, possibly the Enterprise-C.
I remember when I first saw this amazingly huge space station at the beginning of The Search For Spock and it blew me away. It was also used in only a handful of episodes in subsequent television series’ and thought it should have been seen in all shots of Earth orbit, it’s so huge that i’m sure it would be visible from quite a distance.
Spacedock was imagined as having a total height of over three miles. At that size, the facility could easily be visible with the naked eye from the surface of Earth.
I loved the internal shots as the Enterprise returned home after its pounding by Khan, and the tense situation of the Whale probe in the Voyage Home.
The interior of Spacedock was represented by a large set. The original from The Search for Spock was destroyed after the end of filming. The production crew for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home had to rebuild the entire set from scratch.
We have seen at least three ships docked in this thing at one time, The Excelsior, and unnamed Miranda-Class vessel and the Enterprise, with a few smaller shuttles flying back and forth, I have always wondered how many ships can Spacedock handle at any one time.
Footage of Spacedock from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock was reused for several Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, notably in “11001001.” The Enterprise-D was simply superimposed over the motion picture Enterprise for scenes in that episode.
In a 2005 interview with Trekplace‘s Greg Taylor, Andrew Probert, senior illustrator for The Next Generation‘s first season, remarked about the Enterprise-D’s entry into Spacedock:
“Going into the Spacedock was ludicrous and I was fighting tooth and nail to get them to not do that. The producers simply shrugged their shoulders and said, “Well, we’ll say it’s a bigger Spacedock” but that logic really didn’t work for me. The system that I proposed was that the Enterprise to be serviced and docked on the existing space station exterior, because it has an umbrella-like rim — a mushroom head, if you will — under which the Enterprise could have been docked by connecting the dorsal replenishment systems, but… There’s a lot of things that sort of fell by the wayside and it is what it is.”
Earth Spacedock was designed by David Carson and Nilo Rodis