Measurements researched by Graham Langridge.

USCSS Nostromo
Modified Lockmart CM-88B Bison Transport
Registration – 180924609

The USCSS Nostromo with refinery – 2122

LENGTH – 334 m (1095’)
BEAM – 215 m (705’)
DRAFT – 98 m (320’)

LENGTH – 1927m (6322.18’)
BEAM – 1257 m (4124’)
DRAFT – 1131.5m (3712.3’)

SPEED – 0.13 light years per sidereal day (fully laden) (Approx. 46 x FTL)

The Nostromo has three decks – A, B, and C.
A deck contains the galley, bridge, infirmary, hypersleep chamber, Mother interface and the main airlock.
B deck contains equipment and provides access to the shuttles.
C deck is used mainly for equipment storage and contains the landing struts (when retracted). It also contains Ash’s observation blister, and Brett and Parker’s engineering station (which houses the auto-destruct console).

The crew consists of a Captain, Executive Officer, Warrant Officer, Navigator, Science Officer, Engineer and Engineering Technician. The crew are mainly on board to handle docking, take off/ landing, and to perform repairs. The minimum crew requirement for take off/ landing is four. The ship takes it’s name from the Joseph Conrad novel of the same name.

Speed based on a distance of 39 light years to Zeta 2 Reticuli and 10 months travel time.


With the lack of a lot of proof, I have made certain assumptions. It is generally considered that the Derelict when in flight, flies with it’s two ‘prongs’ forward. From footage, stills and H R Giger’s designs I have come up with the approximate dimensions of the Derelict.

Derelict spacecraft on LV-426 – 2122


PORT PRONG (hammerhead) – 161.6 m (530’) long
STARBOARD PRONG – 174.3 m (571.7’) long
INGRESS/ EGRESS HOLES – 5.5 m (18’) high x 3.1 m (10.2’) wide
HEIGHT AT ‘BRIDGE’ AREA – 33.5 m (180’) high
LENGTH OF ‘BRIDGE’ AREA – 43 m (141’) long
WIDTH (AFT) – 116.6 m (382.6’) wide
WIDTH (AFT BETWEEN PRONGS) – 61 m (200’) wide


EGG ‘CAVE’ – 39.6 m (130’) high
SPACE JOCKEY CHAMBER – 12.2 m (40’) high

From evidence in Alien, we’re lead to believe (from the way it was filmed) that the trio went in and then turned left to get to the Space Jockey. However when you look at Giger’s drawings it’s probably more likely that a tunnel goes straight from the ingress holes to the Space Jockey room, seeing that from the exterior designs the aft end of the ship has a large circular shape.

The same Derelict spacecraft, now lava damaged, as encountered by the Jorden family – 2179

Having said that there must be more of the ship underground. My calculations indicate the egg cave must be at least 130 feet high. The ingress holes are about 18 feet high. We can see about 110 feet of the derelict above ground where Dallas, Kane and Lambert enter. They climb up (at least 6 feet) to the Space Jockey room which is at least 30 feet high. So internally we’ve got at least 170 feet, which indicates there is at least 60 feet of the Derelict buried. (Note: Prometheus shows a ship like the Derelict flying with the ‘prongs’ to the aft. Didn’t see that coming.)


Measurements based around the hatch being 6 feet tall.

Shuttlecraft Narcissus
Modified Lockmart Starcub Light Intrasystem Shuttle

The Narcissus docks with a Deep Salvage ship – 2179

LENGTH – 16.3 m (53.5’)
WIDTH – 19.7 m (64.5’)
HEIGHT – 7.5 m (24.5’)

An exterior shot of Ripley in the cockpit while powering up the shuttle reveals her upper half (about 3 feet). This measured against the rest of the visible shuttle supports the above calculations.

The Narcissus is one of two shuttles attached to the Nostromo and is located under the port engine nacelle support. The Narcissus was the only operational shuttle in 2122, as the other one (lately christened Salmacis) was out of order and in need of repairs. The Narcissus can support 2 people in hypersleep for extended periods. It’s named for the ship Narcissus in the Conrad novel “The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus'” which was in term named after the Greek mythological character.


Measurements researched by Jan Rukr

USS Sulaco
Conestoga Class Starship

The USS Sulaco en route to Acheron – 2179

LENGTH – 731.6m (2400.3′)
BEAM – 99.6m (326.8′)
DRAFT – 182.9m (600′).

SPEED – Approx. 1.8 light years per sidereal day (Approx. 677 x FTL)

We don’t see very much of the Sulaco internally. The main deck houses the hypersleep chamber, and locker room. It is not unreasonable to assume that the showers and galley are adjacent to the hypersleep chamber. It is also not unreasonable to assume that these are all on the same deck as the hangar bay. Adjacent to the hangar bay are equipment bays containing powerloaders, armaments and supplies for the dropships and APCs (missiles and supplies are only loaded into the dropships and APC immediately prior to a mission). The hangar bay has at least two airlocks. Also directly adjacent to the hangar bay is a ready room for the troops. This room contains all the marines weapons and equipment, plus lockers containing the marines personal effects.

If all the above rooms are on the one deck, then this deck is located on the underside of the ship, due to the dropships being ‘dropped’ out of a lower airlock.

The Sulaco is an almost completely automated troop transport. It only requires one synthetic Executive Officer to perform basic navigation duties such as orbital insertion. The ship is named after the port town in Conrad’s “Nostromo”.

Speed based on a distance of 39 light years to Zeta 2 Reticuli and 3 weeks travel time.


Measurements taken from ‘Aliens Colonial Marines Technical Manual’.

UD-4L ‘Cheyenne’ Utility Dropship

UD-4L Dropship prepares to land at Hadley’s Hope, Acheron – 2179

LENGTH – 25.18 m (82.6’)
WIDTH – 12.59 m (41.3’)
HEIGHT – 6.05 m (19.8’)


Measurements taken from ‘Aliens Colonial Marines Technical Manual’.

M577 Armoured Personnel Carrier

M577 APC prepares for loading on board the USS Sulaco – 2179

LENGTH – 8.58 m (28.1’)
LENGTH (Turret stowed) – 9.22 m (30.2)
WIDTH – 3.38 m (11.1’)
HEIGHT – 2.81 m (9.2’)
HEIGHT (Turret stowed) – 2.17 m (7.1’)


Measurements taken from ‘Aliens Colonial Marines Technical Manual’.

Bodenwerke Gemeinschift Type 337 Emergency Escape Vehicle

337 EEV from USS Sulaco above Fiorina 161 – 2179

LENGTH – 13.2 m (43.3’)
WIDTH – 4.4 m (14.4’)
WIDTH (at base of ‘L’) – 6.0 m (19.7’)
HEIGHT – 2.8 m (9.2’)

The Sulaco carries 10 EEV’s, each capable of supporting 5 people in hypersleep.


Modified Conestoga Class Starship

LENGTH – 731.6m (2400.3′)
BEAM – 99.6m (326.8′)
DRAFT – 182.9m (600′).

SPEED – Unknown

The Company rescue ship isn’t named in the film, but the novelisation christened it ‘Patna’. It is a basic Conestoga frame, but lacks the external weapon systems and is fitted with a specialised medical suite. It was named by author Alan Dean Foster, after the ship in ‘Lord Jim’ in keeping with the Conrad tradition.


Based on evidence from ‘The Making of Alien : Resurrection’. It states the Auriga is 12000 feet long.

USM Auriga

The USM Auriga cruises past Jupiter en route to Earth – 2381

LENGTH – 3658 m (12000′)
WIDTH – 718 m (2355′)
HEIGHT – 628 m (2060′)

SPEED – 0.008 light years per sidereal day (intrasystem) (Approx. 3.15 x FTL); interstellar speed CLASSIFIED.

The Auriga is the largest ship ever seen in the Alien films.  It has at least 39 levels.

Rough calculations suggest a known FTL speed of 3,169,777,333.333 KMH (or 52,829,622.222 KM/Min). Based on a distance of 47.67 AU (about 7,131,999,000 km) from Pluto to Earth and 135 minutes travel time.


Based on measurements taken from ‘The Making of Alien : Resurrection’.


A lifeboat departs the USM Auriga – 2381

Ovoid configuration
DIAMETER – 7.8 m (25.5′)
WIDTH (including launching struts) – 25.2 m (82.7′)
HEIGHT – 10.9 m (35.8′)

These measurements were taken from the film and photos (sketches/ maquettes) from the aforementioned book, and are therefore rough, but fairly accurate nonetheless.


Based on measurements taken from ‘The Making of Alien : Resurrection’.

The Betty
Known false registrations – EA-TM-E

The Betty docked inside the USM Auriga – 2381

LENGTH – 44.4 m (145.6’)
WIDTH – 74.7 m (245.1’)
WIDTH (not including engines) – 12.7 m (41.6’)
HEIGHT – 20.0 m (65.7’)

The Betty normally carries a crew complement of six, but can be flown effectively by one person. It is highly recommended that a pilot and co-pilot are present for planetary landings.


Based on film and production information.

USCSS Prometheus
Scientific Exploratory Vessel
Registration 130748

LENGTH (main fuselage) – 130 m
BEAM – 48.75 m
DRAFT – 35.6 m

Crew: 17
Speed: 0.04 light years per sidereal day (Approx. 15 x FTL)
(Based on a journey of 39 light years taking approximately 874 days)


Rover Transport
Rover Carrier


LENGTH – 9.76m
WIDTH – 3.2m
HEIGHT – 3.28m

Transport carries 10 people including driver.

Carrier capable of carrying two ATVs.

Two person all terrain vehicle

HEIGHT – 1.98 m
LENGTH – 3.08 m
WIDTH – 1.39 m

Class D self sustaining emergency escape vehicle

WIDTH – 22.8 m
HEIGHT – 8.2 m
LENGTH – 42 m

Contains a luxury apartment, Pauling medpod and lifesupport for 2 years.


USCSS Covenant

Measurements sourced thanks to Graham Langridge and Steve Burg

REGISTRATION – 274207281-1

WY C-78.3 Model Colonisation vessel


LENGTH – 1219.2m

SPEED – 0.08 Light Years per sidereal day

CREW – 15

PASSENGERS – 2000 colonists in hypersleep; 1140 embryos.

Section 1 – Forward

Bridge, Wardrooms, Lander and Cargo Lift Access, Recharge sails, Hex 1 and 2.

Section 2 – Midships

Hypersleep, Embryo bay, Access to Colonists and embyros via A 22, followed by A 23, A 24, A 25 etc.. Forty cryotubes in each bay, Medical bay, Crew quarters, Showers, Galley, Nursery, Hex 3 and 4.

Section 3 – Aft

Greenhouse, Stores, Terraforming, Disposal, Engineering, Plasma engines, Hex 5 and 6.

There are 3 levels – A, B and C (identified by signage on walls and doors). Levels are connected by stairwells in octagonal ‘knuckles’ (identified by the prefix ‘K’).  Hexs 5 and 6 house the Terraforming bays, and feature large bay doors starboard and port on decks A and C.  The other Hexs do not feature these doors.

Regarding the speed and location of Covenant.

What we know and what I’ve assumed:

It’s 7 years 4 months from current position when the ship is damaged by the neutrino burst.

There are 8 more recharges according to Oram and Walter.

This would place each recharge every 11 months or so (assuming a final recharge when they reach Origae-6).

Using info from the novelisation, it says they’ve been asleep for months (as opposed to years).

I have assumed that this is the first recharge, and therefore they launched about 11 months earlier.

I originally surmised that if we plot dates and improvements in FTL speeds using Prometheus (0.04 light years per day launching in 2091) as the starting point and Nostromo as the end point (0.13 light years per day as at 2122), this would put Covenant at a speed of 0.08 light years per day in 2104.  Of course this is comparing three very different ships and a straight line in the improvements of light-plus engines, but there’s very little to go on.

With the advent of the blu-ray, it is possible to see the time and distance numbers from the position of the incident to Planet 4. These numbers however are very ,very difficult to make out. My best guess was 1.249000 (I’m assuming light years) and a travel time of 2 weeks (Ricks says ‘a few weeks’ in the dialogue).

Bizarrely this also points to a speed of 0.08 light years per day.

A further assumption is based on the name Origae-6. Origae is Latin for Auriga, so I’ve used that as a basis to place Origae in the constellation Auriga. A total travel time of approximate 3011 days would place Covenant some 240 light years from Earth at journey’s end. The best candidate in Auriga for this is Xi Aurigae. It is 238 (+/- 5) ly away and is an A2V type main sequence star with a size and mass around twice that of Sol. It does not currently have any known exoplanets.


Lander resize

LENGTH – 29 metres

CREW – 2


Orbit to surface transport.  Fully equipped weapons locker and medical lab.


Lifter 1 resize

LENGTH – 33.7 metres

CREW – 1

Sub-orbital mobile cargo crane.

Ship Scales

Smaller scale

With thanks to Darrell Curtis, Eric Adams and Tom Baviour

Also thanks to Nostromo of AvPGalaxy for challenging my previously incorrect Auriga speed calculations.