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Life boat hatch

A lifeboat hatch aboard the refit USS Enterprise

In spacecraft classification, an escape pod (also known as an evacuation pod, life boat, life craft, life pod, or rescue pod) was a type of auxiliary space vessel found aboard most starships used in the event the crew needed to leave the ship, particularly in an emergency.

Noted uses

21st century

Escape pods were not limited to spacecraft. When the submarine HMS Clement sank beneath an ice shelf after striking a mine, her crew managed to make use of escape pods, owing in part to the sacrifice of Malcolm Reed's great uncle, who remained in her engine room to keep her reactor online. (ENT: "Minefield")

In April 2063, when the USS Enterprise-E was occupied by Borg after traveling back in time, her auto-destruct sequence was engaged, and her escape pods launched toward Earth. (Star Trek: First Contact)

22nd century

In 2143, upon surviving the destruction of the NX-Alpha, Commander A.G. Robinson made Starfleet record books for being the first to deploy an escape pod at warp, remarking that the pod itself would "make a nice addition to the Starfleet Museum." (ENT: "First Flight")

In August of 2151, Shaw suggested using an escape pod from aboard the Earth Cargo Service freighter ECS Fortunate to get rid of the Nausicaan prisoner, but Matthew Ryan was concerned the prisoner could be picked up by the other pirates and warn them to alter their shield modulation. (ENT: "Fortunate Son")

Later that year, T'Pol noted that Klingons considered the use of escape pods to abandon ship cowardly, and some Klingon starships, such as the Raptor class, lacked them. (ENT: "Sleeping Dogs") However, other contemporary Klingon vessels, such as Goroth's, and subsequent ones, such as the K'Vort class, did possess them. (ENT: "Bounty", DS9: "Penumbra", "Strange Bedfellows")

In 2152, Charles Tucker III and Kaitaama utilized an escape pod to flee a Retellian freighter, and landed on an oceanic planet. Tucker compared the size of the pod to that of his first car. (ENT: "Precious Cargo")

In 2154, Commander Shran ordered the crew of the Kumari to the escape pods, after the vessel was critically damaged by a Romulan drone ship posing as a Tellarite vessel. (ENT: "Babel One")

In 2155, the crew of the ISS Enterprise was forced to use the ship's escape pods, after it was trapped in a Tholian web in the mirror universe. (ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly")

23rd century

In May 2256, at the Battle of the Binary Stars, personnel of both the USS Europa and the USS Shenzhou evacuated their severely damaged starships in escape pods. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")

In 2263 of the alternate reality, Captain James T. Kirk ordered the remaining crew on board the damaged USS Enterprise to use the escape and Kelvin pods to flee the damaged ship before it crashed on Altamid. (Star Trek Beyond)

In 2265, when the USS Enterprise located a disaster recorder near the galactic barrier that had been ejected from the SS Valiant two hundred years previously, Spock noted that it wasn't even large enough to be a lifeboat. (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")

Excelsior class refit MSD

Location of the lifeboat hatches on the Enterprise-B

In 2293, the location of lifeboat hatches was labeled on the MSD of the USS Enterprise-B. (Star Trek Generations)

24th century

After the Federation freighter Odin was disabled by an asteroid collision in 2357, three of her rescue pods carried four crewmembers at sublight speed for over five months before reaching Angel I. One of the survivors, Ramsey, described the duration as "an eternity." (TNG: "Angel One")

In 2366, Roga Danar used an escape pod from a stolen Angosian police shuttle, in an attempt to elude the USS Enterprise-D. (TNG: "The Hunted")

Later that year, "John Doe" used a Zalkonian vessel to flee persecution for his slow transformation to a higher being, departing the ship in an escape pod before it was destroyed by his pursuers. (TNG: "Transfigurations")

During the Battle of Wolf 359, Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Sisko, his son, and others evacuated the doomed USS Saratoga in escape pods. (DS9: "Emissary")

In 2367, the crew of the Arcos used escape pods when they abandoned their ship above Turkana IV. (TNG: "Legacy")

In 2368, when the USS Enterprise-D was trapped in a temporal causality loop, Commander William T. Riker ordered all hands to emergency escape pods after the ship was clipped by the USS Bozeman. The order ended up being repeated several times with each iteration of the loop, until it was broken. (TNG: "Cause and Effect")

In 2369, a Bajoran transport carrying the Bajoran criminal Ibudan conducted a lifeboat drill on stardate 46383, according to a personal calendar file reviewed by Odo while conducting an investigation into Ibudan's murder. (DS9: "A Man Alone")

In 2370, Ensign Sito Jaxa was reportedly killed in a Federation evacuation pod, when she tried to return to the USS Enterprise-D after her mission – to bring back the Cardassian Joret Dal, who previously came aboard the ship in an escape pod – succeeded. (TNG: "Lower Decks")

In 2371, when the USS Olympia was disabled by a metreon radiation surge, Captain Lisa Cusak and Commander Gatsby evacuated in an escape pod. However, it was torn open on impact, and Gatsby was killed. (DS9: "The Sound of Her Voice")

That same year, when the USS Defiant was attacked by the Dominion and boarded by Jem'Hadar soldiers, her crew apparently readied her escape pods and prepared to abandon ship. (DS9: "The Search, Part I") In fact, they were captured while still aboard, put through an elaborate simulation on the Founders' homeworld, and eventually returned. (DS9: "The Search, Part II") The escape pods would later be used, this time in actuality, when the vessel was destroyed by the Breen in 2375. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil")

In 2374, several crew members from the USS Honshu used escape pods to leave the ship when it was being attacked by Cardassian forces. At least three pods detached from the Honshu before its destruction. (DS9: "Waltz")

Later that year, the USS Valiant deployed four escape pods before being destroyed by a Jem'Hadar battleship. Only one of the pods survived. (DS9: "Valiant")

The following year, after the IKS Koraga was destroyed by a Jem'Hadar patrol, the IKS Rotarran recovered six escape pods from the vessel. Another pod, carrying Worf, drifted into the Badlands, eventually being found by the USS Gander. Ezri Dax suggested that the acoustics in the pod would have been favorable to singing, and Worf reluctantly admitted that he had indeed passed the time by singing the Klingon opera Gav'ot toh'va. (DS9: "Penumbra", "Strange Bedfellows")

In 2376, during a survey of a class T cluster designed to provide away mission experience to a number of junior USS Voyager crew members, Crewman Mortimer Harren deliberately piloted an escape pod from the Delta Flyer so as to lure away dark matter lifeforms that had been pursuing the Flyer. (VOY: "Good Shepherd")

In 2377, a corrupted holographic representation of Reginald Barclay unsuccessfully attempted to abduct Seven of Nine, on behalf of Ferengi led by Nunk, by flying one of the USS Voyager's escape pods into a geodesic fold. (VOY: "Inside Man")

Later that year, while trying to fend off a Quarren attack, Harry Kim came up with an ingenious plan to mask the life signs of the remaining crew in the briefing room, ejecting three escape pods which actually contained photon torpedoes. When the Quarren ship tractored them in, these were detonated, and the Quarren ships were disabled. (VOY: "Workforce, Part II")

Escape pod types

See also

Appendices

Appearances

Background information

According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, escape pods were also referred to as "Autonomous Survival and Recovery Vehicles", or ASRV, on Starfleet and Federation spacecraft. It was also stated that the cube-shaped escape pods of the Galaxy-class starship were capable of docking together to form large arrays in order to pool resources. However this was never shown on screen.

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