UFO and Space: 1999/Spacecraft

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Several spacecraft are featured in UFO and Space: 1999.

Spacecraft in UFO[edit]

UFOs[edit]

Standard UFO[edit]

The standard directed-equipped flying saucer-shaped unidentified flying object is seen in all episode except "Court Martial" (as the episode is about an internal SHADO problem), "Confetti Check A-OK" (as almost the entire episode is a flashback about Straker's life) and "Sub-Smash" (as this episode features the submarine UFO).

Standard UFOs usually carry one or two aliens to Earth and, eventually (if SHADO doesn't interferes with their mission), return them to their planet (probably located in the Alpha Centauri star system) in a brief time, because if they stay for too much time in contact with Earth's atmosphere, they probably explode.

In the episode "A Question of Priorities" is featured a small escape pod, launched by the defector's UFO to safely land in Ireland.

Limpet UFO[edit]

This UFO appears in "Conflict", as it is hidden in the wreck of the Apollo 8 S-IVB(Saturn V third stage)/SLA (Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter, a section that usually detached from the S-IVB shortly after the detonation of four explosive charges, but in this episode it is still there) section.

The Limpet UFO is projected to hijack and destroy SHADO's Lunar modules.

Submarine UFO[edit]

In the episode "Sub-Smash", a special UFO capable of underwater sailing attacks a ship and SHADO's Skydiver One submarine-airplane hybrid.

SHADO spacecraft[edit]

SHADO Interceptors[edit]

Also known as "Moonbase Interceptors", they are the primary defence system used by SHADO if an UFO enters the Earth system.

They are small one-seater spacecraft that cannot enter Earth's atmosphere for unknown reasons (but they have got an airplane tail), equipped with a selfdestroying nuclear missile.

Lunar modules[edit]

SHADO's Lunar modules are big VTVL (vertical takeoff, vertical landing; a term used in rocketry and astronautics) spacecraft launched from a VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing, a term used in aeronautics) Lunar Carrier aircraft to land on the launch pad of the SHADO Moonbase.

They can dock and dedock with the Lunar Carrier by attaching to its tail.

B-142 space probe[edit]

A modified NASA satellite/orbiter which is equipped by SHADO with an "electronic telescope" to discover and observe the aliens's homeworld in "Close-Up".

Funeral drone[edit]

A small rocket used during the funeral of Steve Maddox (who, in the original script "Zero Gravity", would be the Commander of Moonbase Alpha) in "Conflict".

Space Dumper[edit]

The Space Sumper is a small two-stage lander that can used to launch objects into space rapidly and without a launch complex, such as the one used to destroy the alien bomb in "The Long Sleep".

Spacecraft in Space: 1999[edit]

Terrestrial, Alphan and Thulian spacecraft[edit]

Saturn V, Apollo and Skylab[edit]

Several images and models of the U.S. Saturn V launch vehicle, Apollo spacecraft and Skylab space station are featured in the Year One episode "End of Eternity" and in the compilation movie Alien Attack (1979).

Eagle Transporter[edit]

The Eagle Transporter (better known as "Eagle") is the primary transport, reconnaissance and defence spacecraft of Moonbase Alpha. According to The Moonbase Alpha Technical Notebook, the Eagle's predecessor was the Space Shuttle Falcon, launched as the Space Dock's auxiliary craft, and, according to the Year One epidsode "Space Brain", Eagles with a standard passenger module have a combined mass of 328 tons. The Eagle Transporters (desgned by Martin Bower), which were influenced by the Space Odyssey franchise and influenced the Star Wars one, were build in many models of four different scales: three 44 inches (111.76 centimeters) models (nicknamed "Eagle 1", "Eagle 2" and "Eagle 3" by fans), two 22 inches (55.88) models, two 11 inches (27.94) models and a 5 inches (12.7) model. An unpainted Airfix Eagle model kit is also featured in the compilation movie Alien Attack (1979).

During filming, inside the 44 inches Eagles's command modules, there were one or two repainted 1:24 astronauts from Revell's 1966 Gemini capsule prototype model kit, which is the most used source of model parts present in the series.

Eagles are made of seven or eight parts:

  • one detachable command module/lifeboat (we can see it detaching from the rest of the Eagle in the Year One episodes "Missing Link" and "Dragon's Domain")
  • one service module formed by
    • a metallic skeleton with, on the front side, a short access corridor where the command module's and the pod's hatchs dock;
    • four landing pods with a ladder and four auxiliary rockets;
    • an interchangeable pod consisting in an habitable zone and four landing rocket nozzles;
    • an eventual rocket engine with two nozzles that can be docked to the upper side of the service module to give it more speed if the Eagle has a booster pod docked.

There are six types of pods:

Transporter pod/passenger module

Designed for its first appearance in the Year One episode "Breakaway"'s scene with Koenig arriving at Alpha (which is clearly inspired by the scenes with Heywood R. Floyd on an Orion III spaceplane in 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968), the transporter pod is the most seen in the series: it has got seats for the crew, a computer, equipment and, sometimes, a moon buggy.

Rescue pod

Usually docked to Eagle 4, the rescue pod is a red-striped transporter pod equipped with many medical and rescue devices which first appear inthe Year One episode "Earthbound".

V.I.P. pod

An orange pod, identified as the V.I.P. (Very Important Person) pod, is seen docked to Eagle 1 ("Simmonds' shuttle") in "Breakaway".

Pallet pod

The pallet pod is seen in "Breakaway", "Black Sun" and "Guardian of Piri". It is designed to transport nuclear waste canisters in Nuclear Disposeal Area 2, on the Moon. The cargo pod is a modified version of this one.

Cargo pod

The cargo pod is a modified version of the pallet pod. It is usually equipped with a magnetic grab ("Breakaway", "Missing Link") or a mechanical grab ("Space Brain"). It has got four ladders that can be used if the Eagle undocks with the pod.

Booster pod

The booster pod is essentially a standard transporter pod with two side boosters and, eventually, an upper booster that can be docked to the metallic skeleton. It appears in the end credits of every episode (on the background of the "music by Barry Gray", "associate Vic Elms", "special effects Brian Johnson" and "production designer Keith Wilson" card) and in many episodes. It first appeared in the Year One episode "Guardian of Piri" during a continuity error (as transporter and booster pods alternate on Koenig's Eagle). The booster pod is often misidentified as the so-called "laboratory pod", which's existance is not confirmed.

Space Dock[edit]

The Space Dock (known in The Moonbase Alpha Technical Notebook as the "Centauri Space Station") is the only terrestrial spacecraft (excluding the Eagle Transporters and the many spacecraft in the spaceship graveyards) to appear in more than one episode, as it appears in two Year One episodes: "Breakaway" and "Dragon's Domain".

It is a wet workshop space station (an habitable artificial satellite made using old rocket and spacecraft parts) orbiting the Moon. The model used in the episodes is almost completely made of parts from the 1:144 Airfix "Apollo Saturn V" model kit, it can be noted by seeing its upper section, which is, ironically, the lower section of the S-IC (first stage) section of the rocket.

In "Breakaway"

The Space Dock (or "Meta Probe launch platform") is used as the site of the beginning of the Meta Probe mission, but it is destroyed by gravitatonal stress.

"Breakaway"'s version of the Space Dock is one of the main spacecraft in the 1979 compilation movie Alien Attack, too.

Here, it rotates in almost all of its scenes (not the Ultra Probe docking sequence) and Eagles must dock to it.

In "Dragon's Domain"

The Interplanetary Space Station (a name which predicts the real life ISS, or "International Space Station", which's construction begun in 1998), which is slightly different from "Breakaway"'s Space Dock, appears in the flashback scenes.

It is used as the launch platform for the Ultra Probe. This version of Centauri does not rotate and it has got a landing pad for Eagles (which probably uses a gravity field that provides a 1 G gravity, like the one above Moonbase Alpha).

Venus Space Station[edit]

A space station orbiting Venus is mentioned in the Year Two episodes "The Exiles" and "The Lambda Factor" as sent (or build) in orbit in the early 1990s.