I never really gave that much thought to the difference between a starship and a spaceship before, and this strip gave a unique opportunity for me to look into that.
I essentially wanted to reference engineers on Star Trek in the last panel without making it a direct Star Trek reference, and I wasn't sure how to do that. After trying "spaceship", it occurred to me that that's not what the ships are called in Trek, and many other things. They're called starships. Why is that?
It's because starships travel between solar systems, hence the "star" part. Unless there've been some advances in recent years that I wasn't aware of, that's pretty sci-fi by default, so hooray! Tedd says starship.