It’s difficult to develop a sense of scale for sci-fi shows that take place in space. In Star Trek, for example, it’s frequently unclear how large a given starship is. YouTuber EC Henry, however, has done the proverbial math, and figured out how large the Enterprise-D from The Next Generation is. And, as the YouTuber points out, the starship is indeed “freakishly” huge.
EC Henry posted the video to YouTube, noting that even though everyone knows the Enterprise-D is big, it is, in fact, massive. And while that is, of course, a subjective assessment, relatively speaking it has to be true. In the video, EC says he used the enormous amounts of available data on the fictional ship to make his estimates. In fact, the nerdy artist (our description), used “comprehensive” blueprints of all 42 decks of the Enterprise-D. Which, while not canonical, still apparently provide realistic measurements.
In regards to the cold, hard figures, EC says the Enterprise-D contains 8.9 million square feet of habitable space. Within that, he determined somewhere between 340,000 ft2 and 1.3 million ft2 allocated to living quarters. This major discrepancy in estimation is due to the varying estimates of how many crew members are on board, as well as how many civilians are. Unfortunately, Enterprise never gives even an approximate sense of how many of the latter are present.
For reference, EC estimates that a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier (over 1,000 feet long) has no more than 904,000 ft2 of total space. Only a small fraction of that belongs to its crew. Which means the total habitable space aboard the Enterprise-D is roughly equivalent to that of ten complete aircraft carriers. At least.
Despite the enormous amount of habitable space, however, EC points out that everyone aboard the Enterprise-D, including both crew and civilians, spend the vast majority of their time on only four decks (7-10). It’s on these decks where most of the crew quarters and civilian activities are located. Otherwise, it seems the Enterprise-D is—intentionally—kind of a ghost town. As well as a fantastic place for scheming antagonists to hide.