In Aliens, it's decided that the only safe way to be sure that the aliens in the colony township were destroyed was by nuking the area.

Was the nuclear explosion powerful enough to include the original spaceship containing the eggs? It seems that the ship couldn't have been too close to the colony, otherwise it would have been discovered much earlier than it actually was (and even then, only with the coordinates transmitted by, presumably, Burke).

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In the film's official novelisation, the plateau (where the Space Jockey ship was found) was discussed. Ripley's plan was to 'glass' the colony and the ship.

I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit and the whole high plateau where we originally found the ship that brought them here. It’s the only way to be sure.

Aliens: Official Novelisation

In the film, this bit of the conversation appears to have happened off-screen.

That being said, I think we can assume that the catastrophic destruction of Hadley's Hope was enough to take out the ship since the Company had to rely on harvesting Ripley's DNA (from the Fury facility) in order to get a viable sample of xenomorph DNA. Had the ship survived, they could have just gone there to get some eggs.

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    Your final conclusion makes sense, and at the same time my recollection from the director's cut of Aliens makes me think the ship was far from the colony. They had to drive for a while in that buggy vehicle to get both there and back. And it wasn't close enough that they had already stumbled across it before Burke directed them specifically to investigate. Commented May 1, 2019 at 21:03
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    Moreover, the colony had been in place for years before they went to investigate the wrecked ship. They were not close together.
    – Buzz
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 1:42
  • @Buzz - It's not really possible from the film to judge the scale of the explosion caused by the base's power system overloading, but it looks big. Real big. The script describes it as "Below, the clouds light up from beneath from horizon to horizon." so it's not small.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 6:17

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