The USCSS Nostromo (reg. 180924609) was a $42 billion dollar Weyland-Yutani A Lockmart CM 88B Bison M-Class starfreighter used as a commercial hauler between Thedus and Earth. The Nostromo was 243.8 meters in length, 164.6 meters wide and 72.5 meters in height. It also carried (or rather pulled) a massive refinery behind it for processing ore on the long trip to Earth.
The ship had an onboard artificial intelligence computer, "MOTHER", which communicated with the crew through the intercom system or a special interface room only accessible to officer at the top of the chain of command. "MOTHER" piloted the ship while the crew were in hypersleep and monitored their activities. The ship had numerous industrial areas, a central eating area, a hypersleep chamber, a kitchen, a cockpit where the crew piloted the ship together, and an infirmary. The ship had a nuclear reactor power source that held at least three reactors, possibly four, due to the large power requirements of the refinery the Nostromo carried. The ship also had a self-destruct system, whereby the cooling unit for the ship's nuclear reactor would be turned off and the nuclear core would overheat in a delayed explosion, after 10 minutes. The explosion coud be stopped if the cooling system was turned back on after 5 minutes. The self-destruct system could only be turned on or off after following a somewhat complicated sequence,which ultimately led to the ship's destruction, as Ripley was unable to turn off the self-destruct because she was unable to complete the sequence before the option to override the self-destruct expired. The simple activation of this self-destruct sequence was complicated in and of itself, as it could not be able to be accidentally activated.
The Nostromo was made of three decks, the A Deck was the Hypersleep, central eating area, the medical and science lab, and the cockpit of the Nostromo. B Deck functioned as an in-between between A Deck and C Deck. C Deck held all the mining equipment and mechanics of the ship, and this was where the Xenomorph tended to stay. Ironically, B and C Decks' internal sensors were down due to damage sustained on LV-426 and Captain Dallas decided to launch without repairing the sensors. Had he waited until they were prepared, the crew may have had more success against the Alien.
While returning from a job in the Solomons, the Nostromo passed through the Zeta II Reticuli system, the Nostromo's onboard computer, "MOTHER" intercepted a distress beacon originating from a planetoid (which later came to be known as Acheron) within close proximity to the ship. The crewmembers are awakened prematurely from their hypersleep, the crew responded to the beacon and took a drop ship to the planetoid. Warrant Officer Kane was impregnated by a parasitic life form discovered within an ancient delerict space craft found on the planet's surface.
Kane was taken back to the Nostromo for medical treatment, only to die moments later when the creature that was impregnated within him grew and bursts violently out of his chest while being witnessed by the entire crew. The creature eventually matured into an adult and began killing the crewmembers one by one, the situation begins to worsen due to the intervention of Ash who was actually a synthetic assigned by Weyland-Yutani to preserve the creature and bring it back to Earth. With only Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley as the only survivor, she sets off the Nostromo's self-destruct system as an attempt to kill the creature. She along with her pet cat Jonesy escaped the Nostromo with the use of the shuttlecraft Narcissus just moments before its destruction. However, the creature had already snuck onboard the Narcissus, only for Ripley to finally be able to kill it after blasting it through an airlock and igniting it with the engines.
- The ship's name is likely a reference to Nostromo, a 1904 novel written by Polish-born British novelist Joseph Conrad.