Saturday, July 16, 2011
Eagle Transporter The Eagle Transporter is one of the most versatile, and most amazing, spaceships in all of science fiction. I rank it as the second best of all-time, behind only the USS Enterprise of Star Trek: The Original Series. Seen in Space: 1999, this modular vehicle can serve many missions.
Its most common use is with the transporter pod, a passenger module to transport people from Moonbase Alpha on the Moon's surface to space stations such as the Space Dock or to Earth. After the Moon leaves Earth's orbit on September 13, 1999, transporter pods carry survey teams to worlds in attempts to find habitable worlds to move to. Some passenger modules are equipped to carry a Moonbuggy for surface exploration.
The rescue pod is an emergency rescue pod, likely carrying advanced medical supplies and rescue gear (like fire trucks) to dock with Eagles crashed on the surface or damaged in orbit. I suspect medical personnel would go on these missions in case of casualties requiring immediate medical attention, including surgery. Seen in a few episodes.
The V.I.P. is a pod for important passengers, such as Space Commissioners. They probably come with amenities like a first-class airplane, including personnel assigned as flight attendants. Space Commissioner Simmonds came to Alpha in such a pod in the episode "Breakaway".
Pallet pods are used to carry cargo, primarily seen hauling nuclear waste in "Breakaway". There are also cargo pods, for different cargo types.
Booster pods were used when a mission needed extra thrust, such as on a mission to a heavy-gravity world.
Some of the modules have docking tubes to dock with other spacecraft. This was used to dock with the alien Kaldorian ship in "Earthbound". Additional boosters could be attached to the top or sides of the module frame. Cargo winches were used in several episodes, and the module was equipped with a horizontal grab arm not unlike the remote manipulator arm on NASA's space shuttles. There was also a harness to lower astronauts when they couldn't land the ship for some reason.
In the armament category, some Eagles carried laser turrets on the top of the ship, or fixed-mount lasers on the bottom of the command module cockpit (with a wide firing arc). "Devil's Planet" verbally indicated the ships could carry missiles.
In the defensive category, Eagles had anti-gravity screens, radiation screens, heat shields, a glare shield in the cockpit window, and once an Eagle had a special protective shield against storms ("The Mark of Archanon").
Eagle cockpits are designed to be interchangeable with the space frame as well as the module pods and the boosters. Eagles are normally flown with a crew of two, though many routine missions are flown by one pilot. Passenger modules resemble the cabins of passenger aircraft with a number of seats and some equipment storage.
Eagles can be flown remotely and frequently are in dangerous situations for pilots, much as modern aircraft have automatic pilots.
Eagles are the primary spacecraft of the Space: 1999 timeline.