Escape pods, also known as life pods, repair pods, or lifeboats, were small escape craft for use in emergencies. They were standard aboard all deep-space starships.
- "Are you sure this thing is safe?"
While there were as many different types of escape pods as there were starships, they all shared a few characteristics. The interior of an escape pod was spartan—passengers were expected to use the pod only for a few hours. Some pods seated as few as two people, while larger pods could carry over a dozen beings. Padded g-couches protected occupants from injury.
A simple piloting station provided access to the sensor, communication, and flight control systems, although the shipboard systems were heavily automated so the escape pod could land without a pilot at the controls. Sensors provided atmosphere as well as radiation and gravitational information about nearby planets, and a limited comm transceiver scanned for activity on standard communication frequencies. Emergency homing beacons were also standard, often at least as powerful as an OmniNode communications set. Many escape pods were equipped with limited hyperspace capability to facilitate travel to a planet on which to land.