The Delta Flyer escape pod was a one-person escape pod assigned to the Federation shuttle Delta Flyer, attached to the USS Voyager. The Delta Flyer carried at least three such pods, which were equipped with a phaser, a tricorder, and enough emergency rations to allow someone to survive for less than ten days. (VOY: "Muse")
In 2376, the Delta Flyer was damaged by an encounter with a dark matter lifeform while exploring a class T cluster. Captain Kathryn Janeway took the Flyer to the radiogenic rings of a T-class gas giant to restart the warp core, but the Flyer was threatened by more lifeforms. Thus, Janeway ordered Crewmen Tal Celes, Mortimer Harren, and William Telfer to abandon the Flyer in escape pods while she provided a distraction.
Only Harren took an escape pod, while Celes and Telfer remained with Janeway. Harren attempted to divert the lifeforms himself by plotting a course towards them, but Janeway refused to allow him to sacrifice his life and transported the pod back aboard. The Flyer ultimately escaped the lifeforms by igniting the radiogenic particles. (VOY: "Good Shepherd")
Later that year, B'Elanna Torres and Harry Kim were on a mission in the Delta Flyer searching for dilithium. Encountering turbulence, Torres ordered Kim into the escape pod and both soon crash landed on a class L planet. Kim was able to salvage a few emergency rations, a phaser, and the escape pod's transmitter before he left in search of Torres and the Flyer. (VOY: "Muse")
According to the design specifications of the studio model, the Delta Flyer escape pod was endowed with:
- 1-Person Accommodation
- RCS Thrusters
- 1-shot phaser emitter
- Limited Impulse Capacity
- Length: ~7.55'
- Width: ~2.02'
- Minor Borg Enhancements
- Locator Strobes/Subspace radio beacon
- Delta Flyer-type Hull Coloration
Only seen in the episode Good Shepherd, the escape pod was designed by Rick Sternbach who finalized his design in January 2000. As for the location of the escape pods within the Delta Flyer, Sternbach remarked:
"Just aft of the 74656 [registry] on the starboard side of the D[elta]F[lyer], there are two flaps(...). Under each flap was supposed to be one lifepod, stored along the same general fore-aft line as the hull curve. I always thought the launch of the pod would be similar to firing an aft torpedo tube on a submarine; if the DF is headed toward certain destruction, shoot the pod back along the flight vector. Of course, any time there was more than four people aboard, the whole concept of an escape method would probably have been somewhat awkward.The escape pod was eventually built as a CGI studio model by Doug Drexler during his stint at Foundation Imaging.
"The Flyer was "supposed" to hold four of these things, but it was another Hollywood case of innards not matching exteriors (just like those movies where rowboats appeared as spacious as cabin cruisers). The aft cargo compartment was being cooked up separately by Richard James and the set designer folks, and there really wasn't any place to indicate entry hatches for the lifeboats. You just had to have faith that they were stored in the aft walls. The lifeboats were sacrificed for extra impulse booster rockets in the space race episode, BTW. Technically, the DF stasis chamber where Seven was stored stuck out into space, so it was definitely a problem trying to get *anything* to fit properly."