The Orbit Jet serves Rocky for the first season - although it is attacked, irradiated, cut open and welded shut (on several occasions), hit by a molten meteor, and generally abused throughout the first season; the Orbit Jet remains true to Rocky and his crew!
Ranger Clark makes the comment in "Beyond the Curtain of Space" that: "If you never landed in more than one piece, I would certainly be surprised!" It is certainly a good idea for every Space Ranger to know how to weld!
The Orbit Jet serves Rocky Jones until the episode "Blast Off" where it is destroyed along with another unnamed ship. Both ships are canabized to make an abandoned flying saucer operational to fly the stranded crews back to Earth. Rocky is soon back on track with the XV3 - the Silver Moon - a sister ship to the Orbit Jet. Yet, even the Silver Moon is not unbreakable, and Ranger Clark cristens her "Old Patches" in "Cold Sun".
Although the Orbit Jet is capable of landing horizontally, ("Rocky's Oddesy"); it more than often landed vertically. There also seems to be some requirement that the ship had to take off vertically, ("Bobby's Commet"). Certainly all launches from Earth were vertical. Inside the Orbit Jet are ladder rungs in C-section along a long horizontal tube. Presumably this is for accessing upper levels of the ship when the ship has landed vertically, and the artificial gravity is turned off. Primary access to the vertically landed ship was through a long ladder extending down from the bottom rocket area. This had to be a dangerous endeavor to exiting and entering the ship. Not only because the recently landed ship would still be hot, but the unprotected distance up and down the rickity metal ladder - not to mention the difficulty in loading and unloading the ship - had to be the reason NASA abandoned the idea early in their rocket program!
The Orbit Jet appeared to have four sections. A-section was the cockpit, and never refered to as "A-section". B-section was the living/ passenger and navigation quarters. C-section was sometimes used as storage, and sometimes used for engine repairs. D-section was never shown but was presumably the fuel and engine area of the rocket.
The Orbit Jet flew under conventional rocket fuel. Although after "Bobby's Comet" it may have been fueled by crystal. This was never speciffically mentioned, and the Orbit Jet did need to stop for fuel (of some kind) periodically.
The ship seemed to fly via waveform monitor. Reading and adjusting the wave form would adjust speed and thrust angle. And being able to read the waveform was imperative to remaining on course!
The Orbit Jet has at least three exits; one forward (not seen until the airlock in the cockpit shows up), one in the middle, and one aft. ("Rocky's Oddesy") It is assumed that the rear exit is used for vertical landings to get to the ground. The middle exit is seen used on Earth as the crews embark and disembark the gantry crane boarding platform. It is also presumed this door is used to gain access to the space stations, as they ofteb head aft to get off the ship to the station. (It appears as if there was the suggstion of exit in the nose section of the ship. This is based solely on how the rocket attatches itself to the station. Although it looks as if it would be a very tight squeeze along the docking tube to the main section of the space station.) Later on in the series, this becomes the Airlock door.
The Orbit Jet was way ahead of her time! She came equipted with automatic door sensors, seat belts (don't you wish you had some, Star Trek?), a control pannel that did not require a control stick or steering wheel, electronic view screen, reclining launch seats, artificial gravity, missile launch tubes, atmospheric checker (mechanical canary - "Bobby's Comet"), and remote astrophone (a space videophone). Later updates gave the Orbit Jet much needed airlocks to be able to couple to other ships, cold light invisibility ("Pirates of Prah"), magnetic docking rays, and larger missile capacity.
The Silver Moon came equipted with an observation platform near the tail section; presumably to survey the landing area before actual debarking the ship - although it does make a dandy place to drop wrenches from! ("Out of This World")
- Bobby's Comet
- Rocky's Odyssey
- Beyond the Curtain of Space
- Crash of Moons
- Escape Into Space
- Silver Needle in the Sky
- The Forbidden Moon
- Inferno in Space
- Kip's Private War
- Pirates of Prah
- Vena and the Darnamo