Small shuttlecraft carried onboard Starfleet starships. Most shuttlepods were only capable of carrying two people and were limited to sublight travel across relatively short interplanetary distances. Shuttlepods have a different type number scheme than regular shuttlecraft. There are three variants of Type 15 shuttlepods, Type 15, Type 15A, and Type 16. They are all similar in design and only have minor technical differences. The Type 15 is 3.6 meters in length, 2.4 meters in height, 1.6 beam, a weight of .086 metric tons and top speed of 12,800m/s. They can also be outfitted with Type 4 phaser emitters.

The first shuttlepod seen was the El-Baz. It was designed by Rick Sternbach and Richard McKenzie under the direction of production designer Richard James, miniature built by Tony Meininger. The El-Baz was named for former NASA planetary geoscientist Farouk El-Baz.