The USCSS Covenant was a colony spacecraft designed and manufactured by Weyland-Yutani to transport 2,000 colonists, 1,140 second-generation embryos, and its crew of 15, across vast interstellar distances to the planet Origae-6. The Covenant was equipped with MU-TH-UR, an artificial intelligence computer mainframe referred to simply as "Mother". In the early 22nd century, it went into orbit around a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovering what the crew thought to be an "uncharted paradise", but was actually a "dark, dangerous" world, whose sole inhabitant was the Synthetic David 8, from the USCSS Prometheus.
In the early 22nd century, the USCSS Covenant was en route to the planet Origae-6, carrying 2,000 colonists in hypersleep and 1,140 second-generation embryos. On December 5, 2104, still seven years four months from its destination, the vessel was struck by the shockwave from a nearby stellar ignition, causing major damage and starting several fires on board. In response to the crisis, the ship's crew were awoken from hypersleep, although Captain Branson was incinerated inside his cryotube when it failed to open. The surviving crew managed to bring the disaster under control, although 47 colonists and 16 embryos were lost alongside their captain.
The Covenant's first officer, Chris Oram, assumed command of the mission. While undertaking a spacewalk to conduct exterior repairs, pilot Tennessee picked up a fragmented, distorted transmission via his suit's communications systems. When the rogue transmission was traced to its source, the crew found it originated from a nearby planet perfect for human habitation, better even than the predictions for Origae-6. Presented with a seemingly perfect home just a few weeks away and with none of the crew wanting to re-enter hypersleep after witnessing Branson's fate, Oram elected to investigate.
Upon reaching the uncharted world, Tennessee, Ricks, and Upworth remained aboard the Covenant in orbit while the rest of the crew headed to the surface in a dropship to explore. The expedition was cut short when Ledward became rapidly and violently ill. Karine rushed him back to the dropship, whereupon a Neomorph erupted from his back before attacking and killing Karine. In a desperate attempt to kill the creature, dropship pilot Faris accidentally shot several flammable tanks aboard the lander, causing an explosion that killed her and destroyed the craft.
The remaining expedition team managed to contact the Covenant and Tennessee launched a rescue in the ship's cargo transporter sled. Upon returning to the Covenant, Daniels and Tennessee discovered that Lopé had been killed by a Chestburster, but they managed to corner the creature in the ship's terraforming equipment bay, and successfully ejected it into space. After the survivors returned to hypersleep, the Covenant was ultimately hijacked by David who set the ship's course for its original destination, Origae-6.
- Jake Branson — Captain
- Chris Oram — Executive Officer/Chief Science Officer
- Tennessee — Pilot
- Maggie Faris — Dropship pilot
- Sgt. Dan Lopé — Chief Security Officer
- Sgt. Tom Hallett — Security Officer
- Pvt. Ankor — Security Officer
- Pvt. Cole — Security Officer
- Pvt. Ledward — Security Officer
- Pvt. Sarah "Rosie" Rosenthal — Security Officer
- Daniels — Chief Terraformist
- Karine Oram — Biologist
- Ricks — Navigator
- Upworth — Communications Technician
- Walter (synthetic)
Cargo and Equipment
At the time of its journey, the Covenant was carrying a crew of 15, along with 2,000 colonists in hypersleep pods, and 1,140 second-generation embryos.
Energy recharge sails
The Covenant's propulsion system comes from the deployment of solar collectors called energy recharge sails. Though the collectors has the look of vast sails, they are not. The size of a small city, they expand with extraordinary speed, able to reach their full extension in a matter of minutes. The collectors allow the Covenant to fly at subluminal speeds while storing energy from solar radiation to charge a superluminal engine. This process needs to be repeated several times over the course of a multi-year mission to perform a series of jumps to reach distant worlds.
- Main article: Lander One
Lander One was a dropship, designed to be launched with an expedition team from the USCSS Covenant while in orbit. The lander was destroyed when Maggie Faris accidentally fired her weapon into an explosives stockpile while battling a Neomorph aboard the craft on Planet 4.
- Main article: Lander Two
Lander Two was another dropship with presumably similar designs to Lander One. It was reprogrammed by Tennessee to collide with an oncoming cargo shuttle manned by individuals bent on sabotaging the departure of the Covenant from Earth.
The Audi Quattro lunar rover provided exploration and research support used to help navigate and assess the challenging and unknown terrain of a planet. Equipped with intelligent technologies, the rover also patrolled the Covenant for unseen dangers.
The cargo lift was a transport sled with four engines, primarily used to lift and haul cargo. The cargo lift was not designed for deep space launch, but ultimately survived the stresses of entry when Tennessee piloted the craft to retrieve the surviving members of the exploration team on Planet 4's surface and brought them back to the orbiting Covenant.
- The Covenant's mission to terraform and colonize Origae-6 would be the fulfillment of Mankind's survival as a Type-2 Civilization and theoretically decrease the chances of the species facing extinction; this resembles the biblical story of Noah found in the book of Genesis. The narrative speaks of God's promise to Mankind to never send another apocalypse, which is where the subtitle Covenant may have come from.
- The construction vehicles in the Terraforming Bay have the branding of JCB, a real-world British heavy equipment manufacturer.