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"This ship will be our church; it will be the beacon that lights the way. Finish it, and lead us home."
—The Brethren Moons speaking through the Cult Leader to Isaac Clarke.[1]

The CMS Terra Nova was a Sovereign Colonies ship that was left floating among the S.C.A.F. fleet orbiting Tau Volantis after Scenario Five.

Two hundred years after it was abandoned, the Terra Nova became the home of a Unitologist Cult formed by the remnants of the Circle as they worshipped the Brethren Moons.


DS3 Terra Nova

Overview of the CMS Terra Nova.

The CMS Terra Nova was used by the Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces during their expedition to Tau Volantis in 2311. Her commanding officer was Valery Dietz and she was piloted by Tucker Edwards. Her codename while in service to the S.C.A.F. was "The Luv Boat" and her UIC was "30692".

During the excavation of Tau Volantis, various Necromorph specimens and Markers[2] that were found on the planet were stored aboard the Terra Nova along with dead S.C.A.F. soldiers,[3] though Commander Dietz wanted to transfer the specimens off the Terra Nova instead of keeping them on her ship.[4] Eventually, the Markers that were brought on board and their resulting dementia began to cause tensions among the crew as they worked to accommodate shuttle flights to and from the planet's dig sites.[5]

Arrival of Isaac Clarke[]

Dead Space 3 David Hobbins 01a

Isaac Clarke on the bridge of the CMS Terra Nova.

Two hundred years after the doomed S.C.A.F. expedition, engineer Isaac Clarke traveled to the abandoned Terra Nova in order to repair the CMS Crozier which laid in the Aft Station. On arrival, he ventured through the ship's many sections to reach the tram system while fighting the undead and mummified crew off.

Tucker Edwards

Terra Nova pilot Tucker Edwards' body in the ship's Conning Tower.

As Isaac ventured into the depths of the Terra Nova, the text and audio logs he found shed light on the fate of the ship and the crew: most were killed during the cleanse order issued by General Spencer Mahad in 2314, and those who were not were slaughtered by the insurgence of the Necromorph lifeform that was brought up from the planet. Eventually, Isaac reached the tram system where Austin Buckell informed Isaac about a supply cache in the Conning Tower near the Mid Station. Isaac then began searching for the cache and defending himself against traps that had been set by Tucker Edwards, who had locked himself in the Conning Tower during the slaughter of the Terra Nova's crew centuries prior. After surviving Edwards' traps, Isaac discovered the pilot's corpse, triggering his final trap after retrieving the supplies from the cache. Afterwards, Isaac made his way to the Aft Station of the ship to begin repairs on the CMS Crozier.

Isaac traveled through the shuttle bay on several missions to get the shuttle ready for takeoff. After freeing the shuttle from the shuttle bay, he was ripped from the ship after the bay was destroyed and had to fly back to the Fore section of the ship and take the Skip back to the CMS Roanoke. The Terra Nova was left in orbit with the rest of the flotilla after the team launched aboard the Crozier to land on Tau Volantis.

Unitologist Cult Takeover[]

"Complete the church, complete this ship and lead us home. Make us whole."
—The Brethren Moons speaking through the Cult Leader.[1]
DeadSpace3Awakened-OfficialScreen-CultLeader 1

The Unitologist Cult turn the Terra Nova into their new "church".

After Isaac and John Carver managed to escape from Tau Volantis in a shuttle that was stolen from the remnants of Jacob Danik's forces, they arrived at the Terra Nova to learn that most of the surviving members of the Circle had gone insane and created a radical Unitologist Cult. The Unitologists that remained sane, such as Randall Carr, started to work on the ship's engines, attempting to jury-rig a ShockPoint Drive from one of their shuttles to the ship's reactor in order to fly the Terra Nova back to Earth. However, they were killed by the Cult Leader and his men before they had the chance.

Isaac and Carver attempted to continue this task and restart the engines and overload them beyond their designed parameters in order to generate enough power to the ShockPoint Drive. They succeeded, successfully entered ShockSpace and returned to Earth. Upon arriving back at Earth, they found out that the Brethren Moons had already arrived and were attacking the planet. One of the Moons then rose in front of the Terra Nova, seemingly crashing into it and leaving its fate unknown.


DS3 CMS Terra Nova Concept Art

The Terra Nova from various angles.

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The Terra Nova with a ship docked in its cradle.

The CMS Terra Nova (UIC 30692) was a CL-13 class spaceship, classified as an ADT 60 Mass Driver, used by the Sovereign Colonies Armed Forces' AC-P fleet during the Galactic Expedition to Tau Volantis.

The Terra Nova was about 1/3 of the size of the USG Ishimura; approximately 530 meters long. This measure was taken in gameplay using Isaac's body to measure the arms/ribs and spaces in the cradle and translating that measure using the map found in the Tram system.

The ship had a tram system connecting the Fore, Mid and Aft sections. Apart from spacious cargo holds, it included several on board facilities including residential areas, environmental control, Conning Tower, tram stations and a shuttle. The Terra Nova could hold up to two large shuttles equal to the Crozier's size.

As the largest ship in the fleet, it acted as a cargo and resupply ship, a hub for shuttle operations, and was responsible for transporting smaller ships which were safely stored inside its cradle. The sheer size of the ship required the use of a tram to travel between its three major sections: Fore, Conning Tower, and Aft.

In many ways, the Terra Nova-class of mass drivers was the forerunner of large ships of the future, such as the USG Ishimura (commissioned 120 years after Terra Nova's disappearance at Tau Volantis) and other planet crackers. Unlike them, Terra Nova had to work with limited technology and make use of all available space. To that end, every part of the ship was used for storage, with cargo crammed into every possible space, including access corridors and overhead stowage.


The cradle was perhaps the most immediately apparent element of the ship, enclosed by seven pairs of extensible arms allowing it to safely clamp to and ferry smaller ships. Smaller cargo ships, like the shuttles, would enter the cradle to unload their cargo, transferring them to the ventral guide rails running alongside the Terra Nova tram. Bundles would be then transferred by Cradle Operations crew (under Lt. Cdr. Sam Kettle) and distributed among the Fore section's vast cargo bays.

The Terra Nova's shuttle bays were also accessible from the cradle itself, allowing ships to enter and leave as needed. Under normal circumstances, the cradle was not meant to be entered by crew or other personnel, but the forward personnel docking station could be used for emergency access if needed.


The Fore section housed the bridge and ship communications, as well as the primary cargo bays, filtration controls, and cradle operations, among others. Any personnel transport ship docking with the Terra Nova was supposed to unload at the Personnel Docking Bay and enter the ship through its primary airlock. Just next to the airlock was a Suit Kiosk to aid crew members in suiting up before leaving and removing their gear when entering the ship. An elevator allowed direct travel between the entrance, the bridge, and the Fore tram station.

The bridge was located at the very front of the Fore section. The elevator opened into the driver compartment, with two stations (for the pilot, Lieutenant Tucker Edwards, and ship captain, Commander Valery Dietz). A pair of walkways connected it to the rear compartment, with stations for navigators, communication specialists, and technical personnel monitoring the state of the ship. Doors at the rear of the bridge allowed access to the Fore mess hall, and through it, to the cargo bays.

The Terra Nova generally followed the standard food schedule for the fleet, with breakfast served 7:30 to 8:30, lunch 11:30 to 12:30, and dinner 17:00 to 18:00. The food was served from military rations and typically included rice, noodles, and potatoes for carbohydrates, and various sources of protein, such as chicken, turkey, beans, and occasionally beef. The mess hall also doubled as a recreational area.

The cargo bays themselves dominated the fore section, filled with shipping containers, boxes, and animal crates ferrying dogs for use by planetside teams. As the operations continued, the bays also filled up with artifacts shipped up from the planet's surface, most notably Tau Volantis Markers. The cargo bays were highly automated and required minimal staffing to operate and maintain. The main cargo hold connected from the forward mess hall directly to the fore tram section. The elevator in the tram station provided quick access to the bridge, entrance, and an access hallway leading directly to Cradle Operations.

Cradle Ops was the logistical hub, where the crew would oversee cargo transfers and cargo bay operations, with a commanding view of the Terra Nova's cradle through the large windows. The upper section of Cradle Ops contained a technical bench and workstation for administrative affairs, while its heart was located in the lower section, with two seats for Cradle Ops officers and a monitoring console in the back. The system was heavily automated, with a manual override and overlay present at the window. The captain of the ship could visit and review the operations from a gallery just outside the elevator.

The Cradle Ops elevator also connected to the lowest section of the Fore, Cargo Filtration Command, where the Terra Nova crew would monitor cargo operations and transfers.

Conning Tower[]

The Conning Tower section was accessible through the tram, and served multiple purposes: it housed the main tram control for the ship, communications hub, living quarters for the crew, and the Conning Tower itself, located on the dorsal side of the Terra Nova, providing a secondary bridge for meetings, coordinating operations, and giving a beautiful view of the area it was deployed to.

Upon exiting the tram, personnel could enter the restricted tram control, with a view of the station itself (illuminated richly, thanks to the see-through window surrounding the tram station), or proceed to the main Conning Tower area through the elevator.

The access corridor from the elevator connected to several areas, including the hub with control station for the Aft of the ship, and through its upper level, to the communications den, which provided comms services for the whole ship, and included a workstation for transponder verification.

Beyond lay the winding corridors of the middle section, which also doubled as storage. The S.C.A.F. at Tau Volantis used these to store cryoboxes containing infected soldiers, in a stark breach of quarantine. From this section, the crew could also access environmental controls, past the engine control center.

The main elevator to the Conning Tower sat above the control center and environmental, providing access to the living quarters for the entire crew (including a pair of showers), and the Conning Tower itself, with a commanding view of the dorsal side of the Terra Nova, monitoring stations for the entire ship, and terminals granting access to all the essential fleet systems and communications.


The Aft section housed the primary nuclear reactor for the Terra Nova, its engines, engineering facilities, repair workshops, and the shuttle bay for the CMS Franklin and the CMS Crozier. A secondary tram control room was also located here.

The elevator granted personnel access to both the primary reactor located above the shuttle bay as well as the shuttle bay itself, where spacecraft could be docked to perform repairs and refitting. The bay was divided into two major areas, with the front dedicated to major repairs and unloading, and fitted with multilevel catwalks and elevators, while the rear held the fuel tanks and the primary shuttle bay control room. Shuttles could be refueled there, with the use of a Kinesis-enabled nozzle.

The main chamber also had side chambers, where the gears for opening and closing the shuttle bay doors were located, along with the transfer bays where cargo was prepared for loading and unloading, including military ordnance.


The Art of Dead Space CMS Terra Nova

The Art of Dead Space's page on the CMS Terra Nova.

  • The name Terra Nova is most likely a reference to the ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic from 1910 to 1913.
  • "Terra Nova" is Latin for "New Earth" or "New Land."
  • The Terra Nova's nickname was "The Luv Boat", as seen on the SK-1P travel destination monitor.
  • Unlike the other ships that were still intact above Tau Volantis, the Terra Nova was still mostly active and functional with all of her systems still online after 200 years of abandonment and neglect, even if she was running on reserve power.


See Also[]