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Drydocks are huge orbiting structures where starships and other space vehicles are built, upgraded, and serviced. Large orbital service structure used for construction and major maintenance of starships and other space vehicles. The original starship Enterprise underwent a major overhaul at the San Francisco Yards drydock in Earth orbit following it's five-year mission under the command of Captain James Kirk. The USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B was launched from a drydock in Earth orbit in late 2293.

The drydock seen in Star Trek Generations was, in fact, a refurbished version of the model originally built for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
-Star Trek Encyclopedia.

Many of Starfleet's conventions and traditions are inextricably linked to those of the United States Navy, and the term drydock is no exception. Just as ocean-going ships were built in drydocks and then launched into the sea, so starships are built in space drydocks prior to being launched into the vacuum of space.

The term 'drydock' refers to an orbital structure that encompasses a starship on three sides and secures it in place during construction or when undergoing a refit. Drydocks are made up of a series of metal grids interspersed with powerful lighting elements, which provide engineering crews with a clear view of the exterior vessel despite the darkness of space. The construction of starships in the orbiting drydocks is an efficient measure, as many such vessels are not designed for atmospheric flight.

The construction of the Intrepid-class USS Voyager NCC-74656 was undertaken in a drydock at Starfleet's Utopia Planitia facility in orbit of Mars.

Both ends of drydock facilities are left open so starships can enter and exit easily. This also allows the small shuttles carrying engineering crews to maneuver between the drydock and starship.

The third starship to carry the Enterprise was the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B, an Excelsior-class vessel. This was launched from a drydock in Earth's orbit in 2293. Unlike eariler drydocks, this facility was linked to the ship at the rear of the saucer section.

The top of a drydock is more complex than the sides, and some variations feature a docking port that holds a starship in place.

The delicate-looking, web-like latticework of the drydock encapsulates starships so they can be worked on from all angles.

Protruding arms with spotlights on the end are attached to the sides of the drydock. These arms can be adjusted to shine the light directly at an area that is being worked on.

Huge, powerful lights provide the engineers with plenty of illumination so they can clearly see the exterior of the vessels while performing repairs.