Outer Space / Technology
A one-man rescue pod designed to offer a lifeline to its occupant in the event of an accident in outer space. Also known as a rescue ball. Devised during the Shuttle Era, all small-scale spacecraft are required to have one, as per the Outer Space Safety Regulations. The large-scale lifepods designed to hold 30 people found on spaceplanes and other spaceships also contain survival balls in case they are needed. They were originally created only to house someone set adrift outside Earth's atmosphere until they were rescued, but as mankind's activities in space expanded, organizations began installing them with long-term life-support devices employing cold sleep.
The entire surface of the sphere is covered with neo-norbornadiene, a refined version of a metal capable of absorbing solar rays, allowing the ball to semipermanently store energy and support its inhabitant for an extended period of time. The survival ball used by Astronaut Jonathan Ingram during the first test of the Yuri was a prototype survival ball containing an experimental cold sleep module. It was connected to a special umbilical cord with a two-way network allowing for the exchange of energy and data in the event of an accident.
Should an accident occur, the occupant is required to connect an attachment on their spacesuit to the ball's internal life-support machine and curl up their body into a rather uncomfortable position before entering cold sleep. Japanese astronauts liken it to the instant attainment of Buddhahood and do not look on it very favorably.