List of spacecraft from the Space Odyssey series
Various fictional spacecraft have appeared in the Space Odyssey series by Arthur C. Clarke. Most prominent is the Discovery One - famously controlled by HAL 9000. The following is a list of craft and space stations depicted in the books and films of the series.
- 1 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 2 2010: Odyssey Two
- 3 2061: Odyssey Three
- 4 3001: The Final Odyssey
- 5 Notes
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Aries Ib is a fictional spacecraft seen in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is a spherical lunar lander built for providing regular passenger commuting between Earth's orbit and the Moon, just as the Orion III spaceplane (also operated by Pan Am) provided for travel between the Earth and Space Station V. It is nuclear powered, the high performance of its engines allowing it to make a fast transfer to the moon (at about one day, compared to three days which were necessary for Apollo). It also carries a retractable landing gear.
United States Spacecraft Discovery One (or XD-1) is a fictional spacecraft appearing in the Space Odyssey series, including the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Discovery One is a large, nuclear-powered interplanetary spaceship. Discovery was named after Captain Robert Scott's RRS Discovery, launched 1901; Arthur C. Clarke used to visit the ship when she was moored in London.
The EVA Pod is a fictional spacecraft used for extra-vehicular activity seen in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Jupiter spacecraft Discovery One carries three of these small, one-man maintenance vehicles. The craft has similarities with the in development FlexCraft for servicing NASA Deep Space Habitats.
The Moonbus is a fictional spacecraft from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The vehicle is a small, low altitude rocket craft meant to be used for quick transportation of passengers and cargo above the surface of the Moon.
Orion III spaceplane
The Orion III is a fictional passenger spaceplane seen in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is a two-stage space shuttle launched on a reusable winged booster. It is equipped with aerospike rocket engines and jet engines for atmospheric flight. Pan American World Airways operates the Orion III, just as it operates the Aries Ib. In early stages of planning for the film, the spaceplane's engines on the back were designed to break away from the passenger section of the plane.
Space Station V
Space Station V is a fictional space station seen in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Operational, it is a large, international, rotating wheel space station used as a transfer point from Low Earth orbit to the moon and other planets. It also functions as an orbital hotel. Rotation of the station provides artificial gravity for people aboard the station. The station contains two bays for docking spacecraft, placed on its rotational axis at opposite sides of the construction. At the time of events depicted in the film, it is still under construction with an incomplete second wheel. A Hilton hotel is located on board the film version of the vessel, the company's logo visible on-screen in several scenes. The station is served by shuttle service from the Earth's surface by Pan American World Airways and Aeroflot, the logos of both companies being depicted in the film; the former is seen on an Orion III shuttle spacecraft, and the latter is shown on the hand luggage of Russian scientists stopping at the station en route back to Earth.
The rotating wheel depicted in the movie traces its lineage back to wheeled space station designs by Wernher von Braun and Herman Potočnik, the latter describing such a space station design in his book The Problem of Space Travel - The Rocket Motor (1928). The studio model was reported to be eight feet wide (Bizony) or six feet wide (Agel), and stuffed with tiny lights behind the windows. Due to its large size and delicate structure, the model always seemed in danger of breaking apart.
Kubrick had most of the models and props used in 2001 destroyed, discarded, or securely stored away so they would not be used in productions not under his control. When the Borehamwood, England studio used to shoot the film was demolished in the early 1970s, the model for Space Station V was dumped in a field about 20 miles away. It was destroyed by vandals a few days later.
U.S. and German satellites
In the end of the "The Dawn of Man" sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey, the bone launched by the chief ape-man "transforms" into a grey United States satellite orbiting Earth. Then we can see the Orion spaceplane carrying Floyd, and, in another sequence, we see a second satellite, but with German symbols on.
The satellites were orbital nuclear ICBM missile silos as stated in a 1970's non-fiction book on the making of the film. This might be obvious to some, since this provided a symbolic segue, depicting the ape-man's weapon advancing to the most potent wielded by modern man. The three satellites shown were universally silo shaped with suitable appendages for support utilities, remote control and targeting.
2010: Odyssey Two
The Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov
The Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov is a fictional Soviet spaceship in the novel 2010: Odyssey Two, and its film adaptation 2010. It was named after Soviet Air Force General Alexey Leonov, the first man to walk in space.
In the book, Leonov is described as being equipped with a Sakharov drive, a fictional new method of propulsion that makes it possible for the craft to make a round-trip to Jupiter. The craft also uses a large heatshield to aerobrake in Jupiter's outer atmosphere, saving fuel. In recognition of Alexei Leonov, after whom the craft is named, there is a framed painting by the cosmonaut in the mess room. The Russians are said to view gravity as more or less a luxury and the Leonov does not have artificial gravity. The ship was originally to be christened the Gherman Titov, but was changed later for undisclosed reasons; a character in the film version offers the cryptic explanation that "people [presumably referring to either Titov or someone involved with the current mission] fall out of favor", but does not elaborate.
The model of the Leonov for the film was designed by Syd Mead.
Discovery Two is an unfinished spacecraft mentioned in both 2010: Odyssey Two, and the 1984 film adaptation 2010, but is never actually seen. Little information is given about the ship, but it is explained in the novel that Discovery Two is being constructed under the supervision of Dr. Curnow to rendezvous with Discovery One and to investigate the failure of the HAL 9000 unit aboard the Discovery One. The construction of the ship is halted after the American taskforce instead travels in the Russian-built Alexei Leonov, as it would take too long to wait for Discovery Two to be completed.
The Tsien was a fictional Chinese spacecraft - named after Chinese rocket engineer Tsien Hsue-shen - that was featured in the novel 2010: Odyssey Two, but did not appear in the film 2010. During the course of the novel, the Tsien, a new Chinese Earth-orbiting space station, unexpectedly leaves on a secret mission to Jupiter. After burning all of its fuel to reach Jupiter before the Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the Tsien makes a perfect landing on Europa, prompting China to lay claim to the moon. The character Heywood Floyd interprets their actions as an attempt by the Chinese to use Europa as a refuelling point, after which they can rendezvous with Discovery One and the alien artifact at the Io-Jupiter L1 point before the joint Russian-American team. Before it can leave Europa, the ship is destroyed by the primitive life dwelling beneath the surface of the moon.
The wreck survives Jupiter's transformation into a sun, and as Europa melts it drifts on the new seas for some years, and by the time of the Galaxy's crash in 2061, it is used as a metal mine by the local species. During the novel it is briefly visited by the crew of the Galaxy who lay a wreath in memorial.
The Tsien plotline is cut from 2010 (film) and so the ship does not appear in the movie.
2061: Odyssey Three
The Cosmos is the first of three versatile spacecraft featured in 2061: Odyssey Three, designed and constructed by Tsung Spacelines. The Cosmos is only mentioned briefly, its two sister ships, Galaxy and Universe, play a larger role in the story.
The Galaxy is the last of three versatile spacecraft featured in 2061: Odyssey Three, designed and constructed by Tsung Spacelines. While performing a fly-over of Europa, a terrorist seizes control of the Galaxy and crashes in the nearly all-encompassing ocean covering the moon's surface. Galaxy's sister ship, Universe, quickly responds, rescues the crew and passengers, and transports them to the nearby moon, Ganymede. The Galaxy was lost and ultimately sank beneath the surface of Europa's oceans.
The Universe is the second of three versatile spacecraft featured in 2061: Odyssey Three, designed and constructed by Tsung Spacelines. In the novel, the Universe embarks on a mission to land on Comet Halley but not long after setting down on the comet, it is called away to rescue its sister ship, Galaxy, which had crashed on Europa after being hijacked by a terrorist organization.
3001: The Final Odyssey
The Goliath is a sturdy craft designed to capture cometary fragments and other stellar ice in the Kuiper belt to send toward Mercury and Venus for terraforming. The Goliath and its crew found Frank Poole's body drifting out near Neptune and brought him back to Earth where he was revived by 31st Century medicine. Frank later hitched a ride to Ganymede on Goliath. Many years after Poole returned to Earth, the ship and its crew were lost when a cometary fragment it was preparing for sunward launch exploded.
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