Gateway Station was a large geosynchronous[1] space station orbiting Earth in the late 22nd century. It functioned primarily as a loading station for cargo being transported to and from Earth. Most space-based commercial organizations, including both the Interstellar Commerce Commission and the Extrasolar Colonization Administration, had representatives stationed on Gateway.


Gateway Station was built almost entirely from advanced plastics.[2] It contained extensive residential areas, and many crew and staff lived there permanently. A fleet of maintenance shuttles oversaw the upkeep of the station's external structure. Ellen Ripley briefly resided on Gateway in 2179 after being rescued from deep space, before she settled in an apartment on Earth.[3]

Pets were not legally allowed on Gateway Station, though an exception was made for Jones the cat when he stayed there with Ripley.[4]

The United States AeroSpace Force maintained an Aerospace school for future USASF officers on the station.[5] Elements of the United States Colonial Marine Corps's Marine Space Force, Sol were also stationed there.[1]


Gateway Station was constructed in 2130,[6] and locked in geosynchronous orbit over Quito, Ecuador.[7]

In 2176, the USS Sulaco was involved in a docking accident at Gateway Station that claimed the lives of five crew members,[8] helping to cement the ship's already unfavorable reputation as an unlucky vessel.[9]

In 2179, Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley was taken to Gateway Station, after a deep-space salvage vessel rescued her after 57 years of hypersleep aboard the shuttle Narcissus, and was placed in a recovery room under the care of a medical technician. Once she recuperated, she was vigorously questioned by a board of executives from the ICC, the ECA and even the FBI regarding the destruction of her ship, the USCSS Nostromo.[10] Her recounting of the vessels' encounter with the Alien was met with scepticism and she was consequently removed from flight status. As a result, she relocated to Earth and took up a new career as a dockyard Power Loader operator.[3]

In 2189 a a lone Xenomorph managed to infiltrate Gateway Station and reach an Earthbound shuttle, slaughtering everyone in its path.

On July 12th 2231, a Weyland-Yutani biological weapons scientist was abducted in his quarters on Gateway by Major Dunya and the Iron Bears.

As of 2381, Gateway Station remained operational.

Behind the scenes[]

Gateway Station was designed by production designer Peter Lamont[11] and was realized in the film through a combination of matte painting and miniature model, the latter of which allegedly reused parts of the refinery being towed by the Nostromo in Alien.[12]

Comments from Sigourney Weaver indicate that the station would have featured in Neill Blomkamp's version of Alien 5.[13]


  • A jungle encampment in the 2010 video game Aliens vs. Predator was also called Gateway Station, likely a reference to the space station in Aliens.