The Gateway Maintenance Shuttle was a shuttle which preformed maintenance on Gateway Station. At least one of the ships was operating around the station while Ellen Ripley was recovering there in 2179.
Behind the Scenes
The design for the Maintenance Shuttle has been attributed to Robert Skotak, and it was built by modelmaker Faisal Karim. The name "Gateway Maintenance Shuttle" comes from the LaserDisc release of Aliens, a recreation of which is available on Disc 6 of the Alien Anthology Blu-ray box set. Some fans have assumed that the shuttle was a security patrol ship, which may be true, considering the shuttle appears to be armed. These could also be some kind of maintenance device.
- The shuttle was only seen very briefly for around five seconds at the beginning of Aliens during the shot from the outside of Gateway.
- The shuttle bears notable similarities to the UD-4L Cheyenne Dropship in its design, specifically the large, slightly down-swept horizontal fins at its rear. Furthermore, at the angle from which the vessel is seen in the film, the manipulator arms at the front of the shuttle resemble the dropship's deployed weapon pods. In fact, the resemblance in the film is so great that some viewers have confused the shuttle for a military dropship.