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The Alien Engine is a piece of alien technology that allows for travel through rifts in space.

History[]

After the Christmas Star crashed on Earth, causing global devastation, the ship's alien engine is used to power the Resolute for trips between Earth and Alpha Centauri with colonists. Scarecrow, the alien ship's pilot, is used to control the alien engine.

Eventually, the Robot attacks the Resolute in an attempt to retrieve the engine. The engine is triggered in the battle, opening a rift that sucks the Resolute and all of the Jupiter craft into a rift leading to an unknown planet in another galaxy. ("Impact", "Diamonds In the Sky")

When the Robot touches a piece of his ship, the engine's star map activates inside which Maureen Robinson is then able to interact with while Will Robinson telepathically connects with Robot while they are both touching the piece of the ship. When Robot lets go, both the connection between the two and the star map deactivates. ("Diamonds In the Sky")

Later, Robot's engine is brought aboard the Jupiter 2 by June Harris who attaches it to the bottom of the ship's Chariot ATV. Once in orbit, the glowing engine appears to give the ship artifical gravity outside of the planet's atmosphere. The ship is attacked by SAR in search of the engine. SAR grabs the engine, but is attacked by Robot, sending the engine into the wall. Apparently activated by SAR, the engine sends tendrils into the nearby engine room and the ship's batteries, causing the power to flicker. The engine causes the ship, now out of fuel to turn before it opens another rift and transports the Jupiter 2 to another star system that Will recognizes from Robot's drawing as "Danger." ("Danger, Will Robinson")

Seven months later, the engine on the Jupiter 2 is inert while the ship's battery is dead. During these seven After the battery is recharged with the water planet's lightning, the engine begins glowing again. ("Shipwrecked", "Precipice")

Months later, after preparing the Resolute and reclaiming it from Hastings, Maureen attempts to have Robot use the alien engine to take them to Alpha Centauri, but he refuses due to the danger from THAR and his forces. Instead, the engine is mounted on a Jupiter carrying the Resolute's ninety-seven children while the adults stay behind to hold off the attacking Robots. Locking onto a human-made radar signature, Robot flies the ship through a rift to a shattered planet orbited by the Fortuna instead of Alpha Centauri. ("Ninety-Seven")

A year later, as the children prepare to jump to Alpha Centauri, SAR briefly hijacks Robot by using Scarecrow and he uses the engine's star map to warn the children that their parents are in danger as part of a trap, showing them the Jupiters in orbit around the binary stars and his own ship fast approaching them. Nevertheless, the children choose to come to their parents rescue, moving the engine to the Fortuna and using their Jupiter on autopilot as a decoy. Once the other Robots are distracted, Robot opens a rift to Alpha Centauri and the fleet of Jupiters flies through. With SAR chasing the trailing Jupiter 2 and Fortuna, Maureen orders Robot to divert their course and he changes the destination of the rift in mid-transit. The other Jupiters, further ahead, emerge from the rift near Alpha Centauri while Jupiter 2, the Fortuna and SAR's ship emerge close enough to the boggy planet that all three ships enter the atmosphere on a collision course with the planet's surface. ("Nothing Left Behind")

After repairing Jupiter 2, the Robinsons launch for Alpha Centauri at the same time as SAR does the same exact thing. When Jupiter 2 emerges from the rift, it has arrived at Alpha Centauri, but with no sign of SAR's ship. ("Final Transmission", "Contingencies on Contingencies")

During SAR's attack on Alpha Centauri, Will realizes that if the alien engine from SAR's destroyed ship is activated on the planet's surface, it will rip a chunk out of the planet and destroy it, the same fate that had befallen the shattered planet. The Robinsons and their allies work to keep SAR's forces away from the alien engine while Will, June Harris and Robot use the one still on the Jupiter 2 to visit Robot's homeworld in an effort to convince his kind to free themselves from their programing. When June and Will return, they use a command broadcast provided by the other Robots to try to reprogram SAR who nevertheless attempts to detonate the engine. Will tricks SAR into absorbing a piece of Robot implanted in his mechanical heart, allowing Robot to take over SAR's body and shut down the alien engine in time. ("Trust")

Specifications[]

The engine is capable of opening rifts in space leading from one destination to another, acting as a wormhole. However, only a Robot is capable of operating it. When the engine is in an active state, a large ring emerges from it that the Robot pilot can enter and access a star map to choose their destination. This star map appears to show real time images of whatever solar system is selected as SAR was able to use the star map to show the Resolute's children their parents' current location and that his ship was closing in on it. It can also detect radar signatures as Robot used what he believed to be the radar signature of a Jupiter-class transport ship in orbit around Alpha Centauri to guide the Jupiter carrying the children there. However, he had actually locked onto the Fortuna instead. On Robot's successful operation of the engine to transport everyone to Alpha Centauri, he was able to bring up the trinary star system on the map before opening the rift, possibly having learned from his previous mistake of using the radar signature instead.

As long as the rift is open, any ship in close proximity is capable of flying through it as seen when a fleet of Jupiters flew through to Alpha Centauri, followed by Jupiter 2, the Fortuna and SAR's ship. It is also possible to change the rift's destination in mid-transit as the Robot did, shifting the rift from Alpha Centauri to the boggy planet. The other ships that were farther ahead still exited from the rift near Alpha Centauri while the remainder emerged outside of the atmosphere of the boggy planet.

In most cases, when the engine is used, the rift is typically opened to and from a location further out towards the edge of the solar system, possibly to avoid collisions with any nearby planets as happened with the boggy planet. However, this is not a requirement as Robot was able to open a rift a short distance from the binary stars.

On one occasion, one of the engines appeared to possess a mind of its own, spreading into and hijacking the Jupiter 2, using the ship's batteries as a power source and turning the ship into the opening rift which sucked in the Jupiter 2. In this case, despite having no pilot, the engine transported the ship to the Danger system, possibly a default destination due to it being the Robots' home system. Just before this occurred, SAR was touching the engine and it was knocked out of his hand by Robot, suggesting that SAR might've triggered the engine's activation.

The engine can generate an artificial gravity as seen when the Jupiter 2 left the unknown planet and still had gravity caused by the glowing engine.

If the engine is activated on a planet's surface, it becomes a weapon instead, ripping out a chunk of the planet and effectively destroying it as happened to the shattered planet.

The distances that the alien engines are capable of traveling are intergalactic as the unknown planet is in an entirely different galaxy that had never before been discovered. Travel through the rifts generated by the engines, no matter the distance, appears to only take a few minutes at most.

The engines appear to draw power from the ships that they are on. When the engine transported the Jupiter 2 to the Danger system, it tapped into the ship's batteries and it was completely inert when the ship had no power. This trip also appeared to have drained most if not all of the ship's power as, while it was able to land on the water planet, the ship was otherwise virtually powerless until the batteries were recharged. In addition, the ship's power flickered and the lights dimmed when the engine started tapping into the batteries. Possibly due to the unsual circumstances surrounding this use of the alien engine it drained the power completely as this wasn't seen with other uses of the engines, even while powered by a Jupiter's batteries.

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