The Orville uses its tractor beam to capture a Calivon buoy.

A tractor beam is an attenuated beam of gravity emitted by a device on a spacecraft and is capable of attracting an object from a distance.

Tractor beams are used in Planetary Union ships, including all shuttlecraft, Moclan battlecruisers,[1] Krill destroyers, in the early 25th century[2] and by Benzians in the 29th century.[3]

Description Edit

Krill tractor beam

A Krill destroyer uses its tractor beam to capture the shuttlecraft ECV-197-4.

The tractor beam places spatial stresses on the object in specific areas, allowing it to hold the "tractored" object in a fixed location or alter its position or trajectory. While tractor beams are normally used to pull objects towards the beam source, conversely, they can be set to repel objects.[4] Tractor beams are powerful instruments, and the pull of a beam can tear weak objects apart.[n 1]

Engineers can modify a tractor beam to be "wide range" and filter desirable objects from unwanted material, such as dysonium ore from fragments of a planet.[5]

On the USS Orville, the tractor beam is located on the mid-section dorsal side, where it can be rotated to lock on from the bow or the stern. Typically, the beam is operated from the Navigator's bridge console,[6][7] however, it can also be controlled from the Second Officer's console.[8]

Theoretically, a spacecraft can break free from the grip of a tractor beam, though this depends on the strength of the tractor beam and of the engines of the captured ship. However, if the ship's engines are not strong enough, they will soon overheat, thus endangering the craft. At this point, to disengage the tractor beam would send the captured ship flying off in the opposite direction.[9]

History Edit

Scavenger ship tractor beam

A scavenger ship in an alternate timeline pulls in a shuttle.

In early October, 2419, as acting commander, Alara Kitan orders the Orville's bridge crew to recover a Calivon buoy by tractor beam. Unfortunately, the buoy's sensors detects that it is being moved and self-destructs.[10] The Orville uses its tractor beam later in the same month. After breaking up a nearby asteroid threatening to collide with Elnath 4, the Orville is able to push the fragments away from the planet using their tractor beam in reverse.[4]

The tractor beam has been used to rescue and to seize ships as well. In late November or early December, Navigator John LaMarr uses a tractor beam to wrest a shuttle containing Captain Ed Mercer, Alara, and Pria Lavesque from the gravitational pull of the star Gatria.[3] Days later, a Benzian antiques purchaser tries to capture the Orville using "some kind of tractor beam." Helmsman Gordon Malloy eludes capture by modulating their deflector screens.[3]

The Orville tows a captured Krill destroyer, the Yakar, through Union space in late 2419.[11]

In or shortly after March, 2420, Captain Mercer and Navigator LaMarr fly a shuttle with a "beefed-up tractor beam," towing the Orville through two-dimensional space.[2]

During the summer, the Orville is forced to intercept and catch a small Union transport in a tractor beam when they do not respond to hails while on a course to Krill territory. However, the transport crew do not cut their engines; as they are not powerful enough to break away from the beam, they soon overheat and endanger the ship. Commander Kelly Grayson notes that cutting the tractor beam will be like snapping a rubber band, sending the transport flying into Krill space. Ultimately, however, Chief Engineer John LaMarr is able to link to the transport's Engineering panel and shut down their engines, allowing Bortus to tractor the transport into the Shuttle Bay, where their crew are received.[12]

Later that year, Lieutenant Commander LaMarr suggests modifying a wide-range tractor beam to weed out dysonium fragments from Nyxia after the planet is engulfed by its sun; Captain Mercer gives him approval begin modifying the tractor beam with Isaac in engineering.[5]

Shuttle 1 in Krill tractor beam

A Krill tractor beam captures Orville shuttle 1.

A Krill destroyer uses its tractor beam to capture the shuttlecraft ECV-197-4, which contains Captain Mercer and their agent Teleya, disguised as a "Lieutenant Janel Tyler".[13]

The shuttlecraft ECV-197-1, carrying Lieutenant Malloy and Commander Grayson, is captured by a Krill destroyer's tractor beam after they propel themselves into Krill space in a bid to enlist their help against the Kaylon invasion of Earth.[14]

Following the destruction of Shuttle 1, the Orville uses its tractor beam to capture and rescue the environmental suited Lieutenant Malloy, who had been propelled through space by the blast.[15]

In orbit of the Sanctuary world, a Moclan Battlecruiser, having sent four shuttles to apprehend the colonists there, uses its tractor beam to prevent the shuttlecraft ECV-197-1, carrying Commander Grayson and Lieutenant Commander Bortus, from interfering. Aboard the Orville, Acting captain Talla Keyali gives Isaac the order to use the ship's Plasma Cannons to take out the Moclans' tractor beam emitters, allowing the shuttlecraft to proceed to the surface while starting a confrontation with the Moclans.[16]

Appearances Edit

Notes Edit

  1. The Orville is unable to extract the Horizon from a comet because, as Isaac explains, the strength of the tractor beam would compromise its hull integrity. Episode 1x05: Pria

References Edit

  1. Episode 2x12: Sanctuary
  2. 2.0 2.1 Episode 1x11: New Dimensions
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Episode 1x05: Pria
  4. 4.0 4.1 Episode 1x03: About a Girl
  5. 5.0 5.1 Episode 2x02: Primal Urges
  6. Episode 1x02: Command Performance
  7. Episode 1x05: Pria
  8. Episode 1.5x03: The Word of Avis, Pt. 1
  9. Episode 1.5x03: The Word of Avis, Pt. 1
  10. Episode 1x02: Command Performance
  11. Episode 1x06: Krill
  12. Episode 1.5x03: The Word of Avis, Pt. 1
  13. Episode 2x04: Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes
  14. Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2
  15. Episode 2x10: Blood of Patriots
  16. Episode 2x12: Sanctuary
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