The Lab Transport is a Celestial Being transport and combat support spacecraft that contains weapons and supplies for CBS-74 Ptolemaios 2 in season 2 of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 and Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie: A wakening of the Trailblazer.
Technology & Combat Characteristics
The Lab Transport is Celestial Being’s tactical transport ship. Its primary function is to deliver its cargo between their secret Lagrange asteroid base(s) and the CBS-74 Ptolemaios 2. Due to limited data, the Lab Transport is the least understood of all ships within Celestial Being (CB).
The ship itself is composed of spare parts that have been recycled and rebuilt into a usable spacecraft; it’s a practical and highly improvised design (suggesting time constraints and/or financial complications). CB had mass-produced a series of Containers for their 3rd generation Gundams, but with the advent of the 4th and 5th generation Gundams, those containers were no longer used. CB engineers would combine a pair of those MS containers with a bridge module from CBS-74 Ptolemaios 2 (Ptolemy II) to form the spacecraft; for unknown reasons, CB engineers never used the Assault Containers for its construction as its design is far more suitable for combat. The two most likely reasons are: the MS Containers have more carrying capacity or the Assault Containers were not produced in large enough quantities.
For power and systems, CB engineers built a limited series of secondary replacement bridge modules for Ptolemy II (for speedy emergency repairs) and adapted it to serve as the main bridge of the Lab Transport; helm, communications, and weapons are controlled from the bridge. While not explained, it's presumed the lower module unit, that connects the lower section, is the ship's sensors. The ship is powered by GN Particles for propulsion; it has 8 forward OMS (Orbital Maneuvering System) thrusters (4 in each container) for slowing down and/or braking when mobile. The ship doesn't contain a GN Drive; it utilizes GN Condensers for limited operations. However, if a Gundam is aboard the ship, it can siphon its particles as its power source. Because it was never proven, it can only be theorized that it can potentially utilize Trans-Am with a GN Drive and/or release all of its reserve particles for emergency tactics.
The maximum number of necessary staff to run the ship nor their operation methods were defined; it's presumed the ship utilizes its advanced sensors to avoid combat. The main bridge supports a 5-man crew to properly run the ship. The ship also carries an undefined number of Haros and Karels to help maintain and run the ship; it minimizes the need for a larger crew and simplifies many routines for the crew members.
For cargo runs, the ship can use its container space to hold up to two mobile suits. However, they can alternatively use it to store cargo. If additional space is needed and none is available inside, they can attach the cargo to the "inner-hull" (also the underbelly of the containers). Since the middle of the ship is hollow, they can store additional cargo, but its maximum capacity is unknown. When it's time to deliver their goods to the receiver, the Haros and Karels can handle the majority of the manual labor while the crew manages the shipment via remote access.
In terms of weapons and combat, the ship has four GN Missile Launchers on the underbelly of the MS Containers. The missile launchers are locked in a fixed position and have a 45 degree firing solution. While the ordinances are tracking missiles, its firing solutions are better at line-of-sight. The ship is reliant on evasive maneuvers while firing its missiles against the enemy target. If the ship is carrying mobile suits (MSs) within the containers, they can sortie to help defend the ship against enemy combatants. Because the ship is powered by GN Particles, its hull tensile strength is comparable to a GN Shield. The containers were shown to be strong enough to withstand the impact of over a dozen Trans-Am Gaga units ramming into the ship before it was compromised.
If the ship is paired with Ptolemy II in battle, the ship would utilize a peek-a-boo (coming up to fire and quickly hide) method of combat. Taking advantage of Ptolemy II's mass and GN Field for shielding, it would remain behind Ptolemy II (or the opposite side of where the enemy targets are) to avoid direct combat and evade enemy fire. The ship would maneuver around Ptolemy II to provide combat support by firing at targets that are in Ptolemy II's blind spots and can provide additional firepower against overwhelming force. However, it exposes the limitations of the craft.
For weaknesses, the ship wasn’t designed for direct combat; it has limitations to its ability to attack and defend in combat situations. Because the ship is held together by thin pieces of E-Carbon, a precise hit could easily rip the ship apart. Under the worst situations, the ship could potentially lose power and risk stranding and endangering the lives of the crew as it does not have a hybrid plasma propulsion system if it runs out of particles.
It was never mentioned how many of these ships were created; only two were seen. During the Battle of Lagrange 2 (CB's final battle with Innovators), the Lab Transport was destroyed. However, by AD 2314, another unit was present and it was never clear if it was a repair or a replacement variant of the original (suggestively a replacement). It's also unclear was the second version enhanced in anyway or simply a copy of the original. Overall, the Lab Transport has proven to be a useful transportation tool for CB.
- Location unknown used for bringing down enemy missiles and for close range defense against mobile suits
- GN Missile/torpedo Launcher & GN Missiles/Torpedoes
- A dual of missile/torpedo launchers and missiles are located at the underbelly of each container, totaling four launchers; its exact location under the containers and missile/torpedo count is unknown. The missiles/torpedoes are most effective in mid-to-long range targets, specifically against enemy MSs and spacecrafts. Because the missile/torpedoes launchers are in a fixed position, they are best utilized at line-of-sight, which requires the ship to constantly shift positions to adjust to its firing solution.
- GN Missile Launcher & GN Missiles
- Location underside where 2 containers connect is one 8 tube missile launcher but missile count is unknown. The missiles are most effective in mid-to-long range targets, specifically against enemy MSs and spacecrafts. Because the missile launchers are in a fixed position, they are best utilized at line-of-sight, which requires the ship to constantly shift positions to adjust to its firing solution.
Linda and CB engineers completed the power-up components for the Gundams. They anticipated a difficult battle ahead and brought everything they could think of to help their comrades succeed in their mission(s). After loading up all supplies and 0 Gundam, Linda and the ship's crew left their resource satellite to rendezvous with Ptolemy II. Once they reached their destination, they began transferring all their equipment to Ptolemy and remained with them as combat support.
Battle at Lagrange 2
Not long after re-supply Ptolemy and upgrading the Gundams at L5, the Ptolemy crew and Meisters decided to head to L2 to reclaim Veda. The transport ship remained at Ptolemy's side for the journey and encountered A-Laws forces. While the Gundams engage A-Laws' GNX squads, Ptolemy and the transport ship fired GN Missiles upon their enemies to partially support the Gundams and mainly defend themselves. Three A-Laws battlecruisers were going to ram into Ptolemy and there wasn't enough firepower to stop them from the attack, Sumeragi had 00 Raiser finish off the ships with Raiser Sword. After the ships were destroyed, it's been revealed they had anti-field particles within the ships. The particle disrupting field disabled all beam weaponry on the battlefield, but didn't hinder upon the ship as it only had GN Missiles.
A-Laws' primary attacking force engaged all Celestial Being units and ships with their own GN Missiles and were being overwhelmed in combat. The transport ship and its crew continued to fire GN Missiles to relieve Ptolemy, but remained behind Ptolemy's GN Field to avoid direct hits on their own. After Katharon and the ESF Coup d'état Faction entered the battle, odds of survival greatly increased. Ptolemy and the transport ship eventually exited out of the anti-field and continued their assault against A-Laws. While in the middle of combat, Setsuna/00 Raiser warned everyone to take evasive maneuvers as a powerful particle beam was about to hit them. The transport ship survived the attack and continued to support Ptolemy II. After the beam fired, the colony-type ship Celestial Being revealed itself to all forces alike.
Sumeragi declared their last mission, to fight through A-Laws and Innovators to reclaim Veda within Celestial Being. Ptolemy charged towards Celestial Being and the transport ship followed. When GAGA Forces appeared, a massive army of kamikaze clones attacked and rammed into Ptolemy. While the GN Field was holding, the excessive numbers of clone units attacking them began penetrating through Ptolemy's hull. To protect Ptolemy and its crew, the transport ship crew moved into enemy attackers direction to shield Ptolemy from the kamikaze attacks. Because the ship has no GN Field nor special counter measures, the ship continued to shield Ptolemy II until its hull was compromised and exploded. The transport ship and its crew all perished for Celestial Being to complete their final mission.
Delivering 00 Qan[T]
AD 2314, two years after the fall of the Innovators and A-Laws, CB continued development of mobile suits and GN technology. Since then, replacement Lab Transport was built to transport various materials between Ptolemy II Kai and their L-Bases. Linda Vashti was previously sent to Jupiter with a team of CB engineers to recreate two new GN Drives (having lost three in the battle against the Innovators). After two years, a new Lab Transport retrieved Linda and her team returned to a CB asteroid base (between L-4 and L-5) to finalize their construction. They had completed the two new GN Drives as well as the mobile suit designed for them, the GNT-0000 00 Qan[T].
After an alien race known as the Extraterrestrial Living-metal Shape-shifters, or ELS, came into the Solar System, Ian and Linda decided to deliver the nearly finished 00 Qan[T] to the Ptolemy crew for the final battle. They used the Lab Transport to deliver the 00 Qan[T] as well as upgrades for GN-010 Gundam Zabanya and GN-011 Gundam Harute to help in the battle; the ship wasn't sent to combat.
After the ELS incident, peace had finally come. However, the ultimate fate of many of CB's technology remains unknown. It's presumed that the ship continued its purpose for several more years before being obsolete and retired from service. It was likely decommissioned and put to storage until the end of its days.
Notes & Trivia
- The Lab Transport was the most inconsistent ship shown in the series. There were several scenes where during the Battle of Lagrange 2, the ship went missing while the rest of the CB crew battled Innovators. During the battle scene where the Gaga Units appeared, the ship magically reappeared to defend Ptolemy II, but was missing in the previous scenes where it could've been destroyed by the Mothership Celestial Being.
- To this day, there has been no official release of the specs of the ship nor a proper explanation was there only one Lab Transport in existence or more; based on observation, at least 2 were built.
- For unexplained reasons, CB never used the Assault Container to build the transport. If they did, the Lab Transport would be far more formidable in battle.
- Although a CB ship, it was never given an official serial number.
Articles & References