In Lost in Space, as we know, the name of the Robinson's ship was the Jupiter II. In the 1990s movie, there is a shell around the ship that looks like the familiar flying saucer, that is called the Jupiter I. After liftoff, and when the ship is outside of the atmosphere, the shell blows apart, revealing the newer spaceship design that is then referred to as the Jupiter II. This is a clever way to slip in the original ship design and explain why the ship they're on is the 2nd with that name.

But I don't recall hearing any references, in the series, to a Jupiter I (presumably, it could be just simply called "The Jupiter"). Is there ever any reference in the series to a Jupiter I? Is it referenced in the original pilot or in any "lost" footage or ever referenced in any interviews with the cast or crew?

Do we know anything about the original Jupiter before the familar Jupiter II?


4 Answers 4


According to the wiki - http://lostinspace.wikia.com/wiki/Jupiter_2_(TV_series)

The original Jupiter ship appears in comic books, and was destroyed by the same group who'd enlisted Doc Smith to sabotage the Jupiter II


The below is speculation, but feasible I think

Indeed, I had a similar suspicion that as is in @HorusKul's answer. It is well established that there was a lot of international conflict with regards to the Jupiter Launch that a saboteur had been employed for the Jupiter II.

Although I lack strong evidence for this, I have another theory. I have come across these blueprints which show a miniatures B-8 Robot (notice it's not a B-9 robot, suggesting a previous version) and a different looking spacecraft designated an 'Unmanned Interstellar Probe'. We know that the Jupiter II was planned to go to Alpha Centauri and that they were pretty sure it was hospitable for life, with the environmental control robot (the B9) making sure of that.

So, my theory is, based on these blueprints (acting as more inspiration more than definitive evidence) that the Jupiter I was actually a probe vessel designed to collect data about Alpha Centauri. I envisage it would have acted as kind of like a prototype, making the journey to Alpha Centauri to test out the various systems (including the Robot), making improvements along the way as they noted various problems they encountered.

However with regards to the 1998 movie...

We see that the Jupiter I is actually a launch-casing for the Jupiter II (Source).

  • I notice they're from the Alpha Control reference manual. Any idea how "canon" that source is? (I found one on Amazon for a not-too-absurd price that is on the way here.)
    – Tango
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 13:28
  • @Tango I'd have to do some more research to find that out. I think it's based on a screen manual but I'm. not sure! Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 23:59
  • I don't need to pick an answer immediately. Right now I think I'd have to classify this answer as speculation, but it's possible you might be able to back it up.
    – Tango
    Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 0:04
  • @Tango yes at this stage it is merely speculation but I'll try to discern the canonical status of the manual Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 0:10
  • Did you see my question about LiS canon? Posted this morning or afternoon.
    – Tango
    Commented Aug 27, 2016 at 0:53

My theory, based on how NASA (AKA "Alpha Control") does things is that the Jupiter-1 would have been an unmanned vessel, except for, perhaps, its own robot that would be there to provide in-flight maintenance of the ship's engines/sensors, etc.

Ideally, this would be launched almost a year (give or take) before the Jupiter-2 and would provide telemetry to the J-2 upon having arrived at Alpha Centauri, giving the J-2 a year's worth of 'head's up'.

Its secondary function would be in carrying supplies for the Jupiter-2, these being food, equipment, etc. Basically, extensions of what might be needed to establish a colony beyond whatever the J-2 brings with it.

A third function would be fuel. As the J-2 would ideally carry enough fuel reserve for (at least) a single round-trip, the J-1 would duplicate that, providing a fuel backup. It's also feasible that the J-1 robot(s) could begin some of the colonization works.

In short, the J-1 would have been a lot of things that would definitely come in handy for the J-2 but, ultimately, nothing that the J-2's crew couldn't live without if they had to; and they did.


Jupiter 1 was a prototype- a vechile test bed like Apollo which was tested unmanned it may have been refitted and redesignated Jupiter 2.

  • 2
    Can you offer any evidence to back this up?
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 22:01

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