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USM Auriga

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AurigaX
USM Auriga
Production information
Technical specifications
Length

3,657.6 meters (12,000 feet)

Width

718 meters (2355 feet)

Height

628 meters (2060 feet)

Maximum acceleration

0.08 light years per sidereal day (intrasystem)

Armour

extra thick hull plating with stealth run capability

Countermeasures

USM standard 12 personnal lifeboat

Crew

49

Passengers

8 Ripley clones (secret)
12+ Cloned Xenomorph specimens

Usage
Year introduced

2370s

Role(s)

Medical research vessel[1]

Era(s)

Late 24th century

Affiliation

USM

  [Source]

The USM Auriga was a top-secret scientific research ship in service with the United Systems Military. It was notably where the USM project to recreate the Xenomorph species by cloning the deceased Ellen Ripley reached its completion.

The ship was ultimately destroyed when it was deliberately crashed into the Earth by Annalee Call in order to stop the Cloned Xenomorphs on board from spreading and jeopardizing the entire human race in 2379.

OverviewEdit

The USM Auriga was 12,000 feet in length and maintained a constant crew of forty-two enlisted men under the command of General Martin Perez. The ship also housed a seven-man science team led by Dr. Mason Wren.[2] The ship was controlled by an artificial intelligence program, FA-TH-UR, which oversaw the ship's autopilot, life support and and personnel organisation systems. The Auriga had a mess hall, sleeping quarters, recreation hall, numerous laboratories and several containment cells used to hold the Xenomorphs that were bred aboard the ship. The vessel also featured numerous maintenance areas, including a large waste tank at the bottom of the ship.[3]

HistoryEdit

The Auriga was in orbit around Pluto during the final stages of the Xenomorph recreation project.[4] It was here that the ship rendezvoused with the Betty, a smuggling vessel delivering kidnapped civilians to be used as hosts for the Xenomorphs.

Following the escape of the Cloned Xenomorph specimens, Perez immediately gave orders to abandon ship. While several members of the crew successfully escaped in the Auriga's escape pods, a large part of the crew were killed or captured before they could get off the ship, including Perez and most of the science team. FA-TH-UR subsequently set a course for Earth, following standard operational protocols, where the ship would dock, almost certainly unleashing the Xenomorphs upon the planet. As a result, the surviving Betty crew members rerouted the ship to crash straight into the planet and ensure the destruction of the Aliens. The Auriga ultimately ploughed into an uninhabited region of Africa, completely destroying the ship and everything on board.

LegacyEdit

Knowledge of the Xenomorph experiments conducted on the Auriga was covered up, while the destruction of the ship itself was blamed on terrorists.[5] Nonetheless, the devastation caused by its impact with Earth, as well as a growing sense of dissatisfaction with the USM, eventually led to the collapse of the organisation and the re-emergence of corporate entities such as Weyland-Yutani.

Behind the ScenesEdit

The Auriga was originally designed with a vertical, cross-shaped hull, designed to fit in with the film's theme of resurrection.[6] However, the unusual shape led to problems with scaling the model on film, and it was scrapped in favor of the more traditional hull layout seen in the movie. In the novelization of the film, the Auriga is repeatedly described as a space station rather than a ship, likely tying in to the original, vertical design.[7]

Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 9.09.24 PM

ADI's design and display room.

After the filming of Alien Resurrection, some of the walls from the Auriga sets were taken by Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. in California and used for the walls in their design and display room.[8][9]

TriviaEdit

  • The name of the vessel, Auriga, means "charioteer", in Latin.
  • It is unclear why Ripley 8 and Call decided to crash the Auriga into Earth in such a potentially destructive manner. If they had the ability to reprogram the ship to speed up and crash, they must also have had the ability to change its course. They could have flown it into another planet in the Solar System, or even the Sun, which would have achieved the same aim with far less risk of collateral damage. It is never established what damage is done by the Auriga exploding over Africa, let alone whether the continent is still inhabited (although in the extended Special Edition of the film, Call remarks that she is directing the ship to an uninhabited sector). Even so, the damage created by a large spaceship flying into the planet at high speed would be wide-reaching and extreme; the size of the fireball seen would probably create devastation across the planet, both from the blast itself and the subsequent environmental effects.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Alien Anthology (2010)/Prometheus to Alien: The Evolution - Alien Resurrection - 2003 Special Ediion - main menu
  2. Joss Whedon (writer) and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (director). Alien Resurrection [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  3. Ann Crispin (1997). Alien Resurrection novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 210. 
  4. {{cite book|title=Alien Resurrection novelization|author=Ann Crispin|publisher=Warner Books, Inc.|year=[[1997]|page=2}}
  5. James A. Moore (2014). Alien: Sea of Sorrows. Titan Books, 35. 
  6. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, David Giler, Walter Hill, Joss WhedonOne Step Beyond: The Making of 'Alien Resurrection' [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  7. Ann Crispin (1997). Alien Resurrection novelization. Warner Books, Inc., 3. 
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWfD2eBUlGA
  9. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVagC0txdBc

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