2001: A Space Odyssey Wiki
2001: A Space Odyssey Wiki

The Orion III Spaceplane is an orbital spacecraft owned by Pan American World Airways and used in transit from Earth to Space Station V. It was about the size of a Boeing 737, and could seat

Orion III Spaceplane

The Orion III Spaceplane orbits Earth

approximately 32 passengers and at least 3 crew members, consisting of a flight attendant, and two pilots. Each seat was equipped with a seatback television and chest seatbelts. The spaceplane also had one restroom and wheels for an atmospheric landing on Earth. When traveling to Space Station V, the spaceplane rendezvoused with the central hanger. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, Heywood Floyd traveled to Space Station V on the spaceplane as the sole passenger on an early-morning flight. The spaceplane is equipped with aerospike rocket engines and jet engines for atmospheric flight.


  • Flight attendants on the Orion III Spaceplane and the Aries Ib Lunar Lander wore large caps to contain their hair and Velcro "Grip Shoes" that prevented floating in weightless conditions.
  • The main aisle is elevated above the main seating area, most likely to prevent passengers from floating into the aisle.
  • The spaceplane has eight rows of four seats, with each column being two seats wide.
  • The forward bulkhead features screens that warn of the weightless condition
  • The spaceplane has at least 1 entry hatch
  • Each row has 1 rectangular viewport, which is angled downwards
  • All windows on the spaceplane are tinted to protect against sunlight



A cross-section of the Orion III Spaceplane