Colony ship

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Concept art of a finalized colony ship

Colony ships are a type of human spacecraft that date back to the Golden Age. These vessels were designed to transport colonists and equipment required for planetary colonization from Earth to the destination world.


Numerous colony ships were built and launched from places like the Cosmodrome in Old Russia at the height of the Golden Age. While most were bound for locations within the Solar System, at least one, Exodus Black, was intended to colonize a world in the Kepler-186 system. Unfortunately for Exodus Black, the Vex forced it to crash-land on Nessus and exterminated the crew and passengers. Only its failsafe AI, Failsafe, survived the tragedy, and would be encountered by Guardians 500 years later.[1]

During the Collapse, humanity was forced to defend the Cosmodrome and the colony ships against its foes.[2] Many ships were prepared for emergency launches, but never made it off the ground, and became rusting monuments to the Golden Age over the subsequent centuries.[3][4]

By the time of the City Age, the Fallen House of Devils had taken up residence in one particular colony ship in the center of the Cosmodrome. This ship's original name was lost to history, and it became known as the Devil's Spire.[5][6] During the SIVA Crisis, the Devil Splicers severed the topmost sphere from Devil's Spire and moved it to Foundry 113 to serve as an elaborate gateway into the lair of Aksis, Archon Prime.[7]


Colony ships featured a trilateral symmetric design, with three sets of engine nozzles protruding at an angle from the midpoint of the fuselage, and three shuttle craft attached on the lower half above a fourth, central set of engine nozzles. The shuttles were responsible for transporting the colonists and supplies from the orbiting ship down to the surface of the destination world. In between the shuttles were three mounts that held up to thirty cargo containers each; in addition to carrying vital supplies for the colonization expedition, the containers would double as temporary surface shelters until permanent structures could be built.[4][8] While awaiting launch, colony ships stood vertically and were supported by three large struts that possibly served as landing gear.[4]

The upper half of the ship consisted of three spherical structures that contained the ship's cryostasis pods and command center.[5][9] While it is uncertain what the typical crew and passenger complement of a colony ship was, Exodus Black carried 600 people.[10]

List of colony ships[edit]


  • According to Rob Adams, Bungie's Lead World Artist for Destiny, the colony ship prominently displayed at the center of the Cosmodrome actually contains hundreds of mummified colonists who perished when the ship failed to launch. The reason the ship did not launch was that its fuel lines, located in The Blast, ruptured and exploded during the chaos of the Collapse, preventing the ship from fueling properly.[8]
  • Bungie originally intended the colony ships to contain machines called SMILE (Suspended Mobility Interplanetary Length Expedition) Pods, which would have held individual colonists in suspended animation. SMILE Pods with mummified occupants would have been scattered across The Blast in the Cosmodrome as debris from a destroyed colony ship.[8]
  • The colony ship's three spheres were originally envisioned as fuel tanks. The fuel they contained would provide enough thrust to launch the colony ship into space and boost it to traveling speed. Once empty, the tanks would be converted into habitable spaces for the ship's passengers for the duration of the journey.[8]
  • A few SMILE pods remain inside of The Devils' Spire. One of these pods is scannable; Ghost will tell the player that he had attempted to awaken the hero sleeping within the pod, but said individual claimed that he'd seen enough wars already. This might be a possible reference to Halo's Master Chief, whom is first introduced being awoken from a similar stasis pod.
  • Early in Destiny's development, colony ships were originally designed as single, enlarged space shuttles.[8]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Bungie (2017/9/22), Destiny 2, Xbox One, Activision Blizzard
  2. ^ Destiny Drawing Board: Silver Dollar MK.35
  3. ^ Building the Destiny E3 RevealBungie Commentary
  4. ^ a b c Bungie (2015-2-16), Destiny: Activision Blizzard.
  5. ^ a b Bungie (2017/9/22), Destiny: The Taken King, Xbox One, Activision Blizzard: Cayde's Stash
  6. ^ Youtube: Official Destiny: The Taken King ViDoc – No Legend Is Safe
  7. ^ Bungie (2017/9/22), Destiny: Rise of Iron, Xbox One, Activision Blizzard
  8. ^ a b c d e Ride Along - Cosmodrome - Bungie Commentary
  9. ^ Bungie (2017/9/22), Destiny 2, Xbox One, Activision Blizzard: Exodus Crash
  10. ^ Bungie (2017/9/22), Destiny 2, Xbox One, Activision Blizzard: Nessus World Quest mission dialogue