On The Original Series and The Next Generation we saw plenty of shuttlecraft moving our heroes around from ship to planet to station. But these craft were really just the space equivalent of a ferry boat. You couldn’t travel large distances in them—at least not in a reasonable amount of time—and they were essentially defenseless. Starfleet needed something beefier that could still be treated as an auxiliary craft, and thus the runabout was born. In this episode of The Orb, Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing discuss these tough little ships that made their debut on Deep Space Nine, from their genesis to their specifications to how they were used as a storytelling device.