The USCSS Prometheus was a Heliades-class J Scientific Exploratory Vessel built and operated by Weyland Corp and captained by Idris Janek. It was a revolutionary starship and, at the time of its launch, was the most advanced and expensive faster–than–light space exploration vehicle to be constructed. It was billed as an official United States Commercial Starship in 2091

Sent to the Zeta 2 Reticuli star system to investigate the moon LV-223 in 2091, the Prometheus arrived two years later in 2093; it was destroyed days later in 2094.



The bridge of the Prometheus.

In 2089, archaeologists Elizabeth Shaw and Charlie Holloway discovered a star map shown in the artwork of several unconnected ancient cultures. They interpreted the map as an invitation from humanity’s forerunners, or "Engineers". Sir Peter Weyland, the founder of Weyland Corp, funded the creation of the scientific vessel USCSS Prometheus to follow the map to LV-223, a moon orbiting the gas giant Calpamos in the distant Zeta 2 Reticuli star system.

The Prometheus's crew traveled to LV-223 in stasis while the android David manned the ship and studied linguistics such as Schleicher's fable. Upon arriving in 2093, the crew were informed of their mission to find the Engineers. Mission director Meredith Vickers ordered the crew to avoid making contact without her permission. Prometheus landed near a large artificial structure, and an exploratory team ventured inside.

Events on LV-223[]

Inside the structure, David activated a hologram. This led to the discovery of a decapitated alien lifeform and a room containing several black urns. David took one of the urns as the group left, but two expedition members, Rafe Millburn and Sean Fifield, became lost inside the structure. Millburn was killed by a creature and Holloway became infected, leading to his death. Later, the Prometheus was almost breached by a horribly mutated Fifield, who managed to kill seven crew members before being burned to death by Captain Idris Janek with a flamethrower. The situation worsened when Janek realized that the Engineers had previously planned on wiping humanity out and that a recently awakened Engineer pilot planned on completing their mission.

The Prometheus was destroyed when Shaw convinced Janek to stop the Engineer's spaceship from reaching Earth. Janek successfully crashed the ship into the Engineer's Juggernaut, destroying the former ship with all hands.


Cargo and Equipment[]

The Prometheus's propulsion system was four nuclear-powered ion plasma engines capable of VTOL thrust hybrid vectoring in atmospheric and interstellar conditions. Individual cranes in the engine's outer shell lifted the heavy landing gear back into the engine. The ship carried over twenty vehicles in tow along with crew weaponry composed of Heavy Incineration Units, Electrostatic Pistols, Supernova Electrostatic Shotguns and Weyland Storm Rifles used by mercenaries in charge of security.

The main control room housed a primary table which received the signals fed by spectagraphs, which mapped out the Juggernaut as well as the Engineer temple. It also carried seventeen hypersleep chambers. Below is the ship's full list of included equipment:

  • RT Series Group Transport: The RT Series Group Transport's shape-memory alloy wheel system has nano-reinforced hard-composite treads that resist temps up to 2000°F. Its ceramic gas turbine engine has .4 million pounds of thrust making its cargo weight virtually unlimited. With a 5.7 meter wheelbase, the personnel bay fits up to 20 occupants.
  • ATV NR6: Two-person transport vehicle with 4-tread, track-belted wheels able to negotiate near-vertical terrain carrying small payload. With the NR6, Weyland planetary engineers are able to survey previously inaccessible areas of newly discovered proto-colonies. Vehicles reach top speeds of 88 mph in standard atmospheric pressure and gravitational pull. Variable-friction axes for front and rear wheels provide micro-torque gear adjustments for maximum safety and mobility across any foreign surface.
  • Hypersleep chamber: A holographic display communicates with ship’s mainframe to monitor metabolic conditions to suspend cell function. The hypersleep chambers can be programmed to initiate, maintain and terminate hypersleep stasis of human crew depending on length of mission and percent FTL travel. Zero-loss lithium ion batteries in a tertiary backup system support the chamber’s function for up to 100 years in case of emergency. Hypersleep maintenience overseers can start dream-reading via establishing a neuro link through a visor.
  • Class-D crew escape module: Vickers' suite was revealed to be a lifeboat when it ejected from the Prometheus and crash landed immediately. It was later seen again when Shaw confronted the Engineer. Exclusively designed for FTL crafts of a suitable size, this emergency sustaining pod is an embedded safety module comprised of 7 luxury-appointed rooms, complete with independent navigation and piloting controls. Reclaiming decontamination system allows one occupant 50 years of breathable air with or without hypersleep.
  • Class-A individual crew ejection pod: The Prometheus apparently contains eight and they are automatically launched. When Vickers escaped from the Prometheus, the ship's automatic launch system ejected the pod from the ship; the pod flew itself for a few seconds before crash-landing on the ground.
  • Pauling MedPod 720i: Procedures include concentrated antibiotic injections, basic wound repair, appendectomy, laparoscopic ablation and Cesarean section. The MedPod can diagnose, treat and perform a range of surgical procedures with ultra-fine laser incisions guided by 3D anatomical scanning. David calibrated the one on board the Prometheus to attend to male patients, but Shaw was able to bypass the system and have a foreign body extraction surgery to remove her offspring.
  • Intergalactic comm antennas: The ship had many installed all around the front, similar to the USCSS Nostromo.
  • Presidium Mark VIII Advanced SE Suits: Used in exploration, reconnaissance and for tactical maneuverability in the field. Nano-reinforced composite helmet allows a 320° rotational field of vision with info display of vital stats, environmental conditions, communications systems and data analysis. Cadmium exoskeleton provides safety and stability over rough terrain. Iridium-coated, laser resistant light armor optional.
  • ECO All-World Systems Survival Suits: Featuring a metallic crimson color scheme, the ECO was equipped with rotary joints and self–actuating fingers; despite its bulky design limiting its user, the ECO offered total protection from hazards during extravehicular activity.

Behind the Scenes[]

The interir of the ship was built across a two level structure, fronted by a large, faceted, wrap around windscreen; this element of the design, along with the "floating" crew positions that projected into this windshield, were recycled from an unused original design for the Nostromo's bridge in Alien.[4] Vickers' quarters were designed to represent her high status on the ship, being furnished with modern and futuristic items including Swarovski chandeliers and a Fazioli piano. The ship's garage was built on the backlot of Pinewood Studios in England.


  • NASA actually established a Project Prometheus in 2003 to develop nuclear-powered systems for long-duration space missions; this project was also named after the Titan Prometheus from Greek mythology.
  • In Jon Spaihts' original script for Prometheus, titled Alien: Engineers, the Prometheus is known as the Magellan.[5] Several pieces of concept art for the ship also carry this early name.



Concept Art[]