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The Aurora class battleship is an interstellar warship in the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis. The Aurora class was primarily used by the Ancients in their struggle against the Wraith. Two ships of this class have been identified, the Aurora and the Orion.

While it is not known what the Ancients' designation for this class of vessel is, the Aurora was the first of the type to be encountered by the Atlantis Expedition and the name has been used to describe further ships of the type.


The Aurora class are large battleships, equipped with advanced technologies. The Aurora class was vastly superior to the warships used by the Wraith, including Wraith Hive-Ships, and are capable of destroying them while only suffering minimal damage. Specifications of the ship are not available, however it is large enough to carry a sizeable crew, several times the maximum capacity of the Daedalus. In the episode "No Man's Land", the Orion could be seen in comparison to the Daedalus, and appeared to be approximately 7-8 times longer in length, and 4-5 times wider in width.
General Characteristics
Armaments Drone Weapons
Defense Ancient Shields
Propulsion Ancient Hyperdrive
Offensive systems consisted of Drone Weapons, self-guiding Ancient "missiles" capable of penetrating energy shields. It should be noted that the drones on the Aurora class were not controlled by an Ancient Control Chair, unlike the drones on Atlantis and the Ancient outpost in Antarctica. Defense of the vessel was provided by extremely powerful energy shields which had a yellow gold-like color. The shield of an Aurora class battleship was contoured around the ship, like an extra hull, instead of the ordinary bubble. The self-destruct, which was not only powerful enough to vaporize the vessel itself but also anything within at least a two kilometer radius, and could also be used to destroy ships in close proximity.

Other technology on board included Ancient stasis pods, that were supposed to be used by the crew in case of an emergency. These pods could be modified so that their occupants could participate in a virtual construct, allowing their minds to remain active during long voyages. The pods interface directly with the ship's computer so the crew may work on tasks while they are asleep, even allowing the alteration and deletion of files from the ships computers. However, like all Ancient stasis pods, these devices can only prolong the ageing process, not halt it, and in prolonged periods of time (such as entire millenia) the person within the pod gets so old that, if revived, they will eventually die.

The first Aurora class battleship contained 329 crew members, however the ship can hold more people in emergencies. The vessel can be operated by as little as 100 crew members.

The Aurora was also equipped with an interstellar hyperdrive to move between solar systems. This hyperdrive however could be converted from interstellar to intergalactic, allowing the ship to cross the vast distances between galaxies. Sublight propulsion systems are used for travel over short distances. The ship also has the capability to hover over the surface of a planet, indicating the existence of anti-gravity engines.

Originally on a reconnaissance mission to deliver important information about a weakness of the Wraith to the Atlantean Council, the Aurora was badly damaged in a fight, presumably with the Wraith, forcing her crew to enter the stasis pods and await rescue from Atlantis. However, they were believed dead by the Ancients and thus abandoned, leaving the crew to slumber and slowly age over ten thousand years.

After the Atlantis Expedition installed a ZPM in Atlantis, a beacon calling all Ancient ships back to Atlantis was automatically activated. The Aurora subsequently activated its engines, although it would still take millions of years for the Aurora to arrive at sub-light speed. The Daedalus was dispatched with a team from Atlantis, in an attempt to access the vessel.

However, a Wraith scout ship also discovered the vessel, and gained access to its systems. After killing first officer Trebal, a Wraith took her place inside her stasis pod, accessing the virtual reality the crew was experiencing. This Wraith's ultimate goal was to manipulate the crew of the Aurora into teaching him how to upgrade their hyperdrive technology. The captain was no longer aware that they were in fact experiencing an artificial environment, and did not realize that he was being fooled by the enemy.

When John Sheppard entered the environment, the Captain suspected that he might have been telling the truth, but the Wraith impersonating Trebal convinced him Sheppard was lying. After Sheppard revealed that Trebal was a Wraith and eventually managed to explain the situation, the Aurora captain offered the information concerning the weakness in Wraith technology to Sheppard, but it had already been deleted from the database by the invading Wraith. With two Wraith cruisers approaching the Aurora and their bodies too aged to function on their own, the Captain activated the self destruct sequence. The Aurora and all hands on board were destroyed, taking two Wraith cruisers with them. The Captain's last wish was that Sheppard and his team would keep the memory of the Aurora and its valiant crew alive.

The Orion was discovered in a hangar bay of an Ancient outpost on the planet Taranis in the Pegasus Galaxy. There, the vessel had been abandoned thousands of years after being damaged, probably by the Wraith, until a people settled there and began to investigate the outpost. However, their technology was too unsophisticated to repair it, and the Orion remained virtually inoperable until scientists from the Atlantis Expedition arrived and salvaged it.

The name "Orion" was chosen by Sheppard, as the suggested name Enterprise seemed unfitting to him (in contrast to Jack O'Neill's vocal support for giving that name to the Prometheus). The Ancient name for the ship, Hippaforalkus (the name of a Lantean general), was not considered.

However, the continuous drawing of geothermal energy to power the outpost's shield by the Taranians had destabilized the underlying supervolcano, eventually causing a cataclysmic eruption. In order to evacuate the remaining settlers, the hyperdrive was repaired by Rodney McKay and used to exit the bay. Orion emerged in Taranis's orbit, just as the volcano erupted below. The ship was subsequently loaned to the Atlantis Expedition by the Taranis chancellor in exchange for helping his people resettle.

Several weeks later, the Orion was under the command of Colonel Sheppard, to be used defending Atlantis from a possible Wraith attack on the city. At this time, Orion was unable to fire weapons, but had propulsion and partial shields. Its drone weapons remained non functional.

After an alliance with a Wraith hive backfired, the Orion was sent to stop two Wraith Hive Ship from reaching the Milky Way. Major Lorne and Dr. Radek Zelenka attempted to transfer shield power to the drone weapons, which resulted in bringing the weapons online, but made Orion vulnerable to Wraith weapons. Once Orion destroyed a Hive Ship, its partner opened fire on the Orion's unprotected hull. As a result, the ship was destroyed, but not before its crew was successfully evacuated to Daedalus. This does however demonstrate the vast superiority of the Ancient's technology over that of the Wraith, as a single ship with only enough power to activate one main system at a time still managed to obliterate a Wraith Hive Ship.

During the testing of the network of Stargates connecting Atlantis and Earth, the Daedalus discovered an Ancient ship, said by Dr. McKay to possibly be Aurora class, travelling to Earth at a speed of 0.999 the speed of light. Due to relativity, only a few years had passed for the crew, and the hundred or so Ancients were eventually returned to Atlantis. The ship's commander, Helia, took control of Atlantis and sent the expedition back to Earth.

The fate of the Tria is unknown, as is not mentioned again in the episode. It should also be noted that the Tria was not seen directly, however, as it passed the Daedalus, traveling at .999 the speed of light, a trail of the ship, as well as a somewhat clear shot of the Aurora class' rear "wings", can be seen, thus confirming that the Tria was in fact an Aurora class battleship.

In the episode "Progeny", a flashback sequence showed multiple Aurora class battleship bombarding the Asurans' planet. The Ancient fleet also included other warships of as yet unidentified design, confirming that the Aurora class was not the only type used by the Ancients.