Discovery One, more often referred to as just Discovery, was a manned American spacecraft to Jupiter. The mission was to be a one-way trip; the crew would be picked up after the mission by a sister ship Discovery Two, which was never completed. However, all but one of the crew of Discovery One was killed. The only survivor, David Bowman, disappeared into the Jupiter Monolith shortly after arrival at Jupiter.
Discovery One was named after Captain Robert Scott's ship, Discovery, launched in 1901.
Discovery is 140 m long, and propelled by a nuclear-powered magnetoplasmadynamic drive. 80 m of structure separate the reactor from the spherical crew habitation module, which consists of a pod bay, a centrifuge, which generated about one-sixth g, and the control deck, and also the onboard HAL 9000 computer's logistics and memory center, which is off-limits to the crew (however, Bowman enters it to shut off Hal, regardless).
Originally, the mission was to simply observe and study Jupiter. However, a new mission objective was added: to investigate the mysterious radio signal sent by the Tycho Monolith to Jupiter.
The crew of Discovery consisted of five men, but three of them were put into cryogenic hibernation before departure from Earth, not only to achieve maximum life support capability, but to ensure their silence, as they were the only three on board, other than Hal, that knew the true purpose of the mission.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 2010: Odyssey Two
- 2061: Odyssey Three (mentioned only)
- 3001: The Final Odyssey (mentioned only)