EVE Online’s Most Elusive Wandering Location Is a Tribute to David Bowie

EVE Online's Space Oddity (screenshot) 9 photos
Photo: autoevolution
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EVE Online is a huge game, which makes finding some of its wandering locations quite a challenge. If you’re not involved in the exploration aspects of the game, you probably never heard about Space Oddity, or if you did, chances are that you’ve never seen one.
In fact, not many EVE Online players see one even after years of playing the game. The Space Oddity is a wandering location that can be scanned down if your ship has enough scanner strength, but that’s not why it’s hard to visit one.

The Space Oddity is a location that “wanders” through EVE Online’s K-space (known space) and W-space (wormhole space) and never stays in the same place for more than 1-2 days. It appears as a combat site on the scan window and to be able to warp to it, you’d need a ship with a scanner strength of above 105.

Although this is tagged as combat site, no combat is involved so you can warp to the site and explore it without being shot at. The Space Oddity is a tribute to David Bowie, but if you won’t be able to tell that from the hints left by CCP. The single, stationary NPC ship that you can find at the site is surrounded by a green cloud.

The ship called “Tom’s Shuttle” looks very similar to the Zephyr, a rather strange exploration ship that can be used to explore Sleeper sites. The main benefit of flying a Zephyr is that Sleepers will not shoot at you, so you should be relatively safe while exploring their territories inside wormhole space.

EVE Online screenshot
Photo: autoevolution
However, according to the description, the NPC vessel predates today’s Zephyr model: “This mysterious shuttle is slowly passing through the system, following a predetermined course from some unknown origin. Although similarities between its design and some current starships can be discerned, this vessel appears to predate those ships by many centuries.”

A Zephyr hull costs around 80 million ISK, but it’s not really meant for exploration. You can only fit a Prototype Iris Probe Launcher on this ship and its only other benefit is that it won’t be targeted by Sleeper Drones in wormhole systems.

Its design looks rather primitive, but there’s a good reason for that. The Zephyr relies on solar winds for sublight propulsion, while the sails allow it to ride the torrents of photons streaming through space. Equally important, thanks to its super-light construction the Zephyr has a very small signature radius. If you plan to explore Sleeper sites and don’t want to fight them, this is the safest way to do it.

Now, the next part of the shuttle’s description is a reminder that this is a tribute to someone very important: “scans indicate that the shuttle once had room for a single occupant but now lies empty, sailing onward in silent memory of the visionary pilot it once ferried.” Although the name David Bowie isn’t mentioned, the names of the combat site and ship clearly suggest this is a tribute to the famous musician.

EVE Online screenshot
Photo: autoevolution
Major Tom is a persona of David Bowie and, more importantly, it’s mentioned in many songs including one called Space Oddity. The song tells the story of an astronaut escapes the confines of the Earth to journey beyond the stars. Even the words that the describe Tom’s Shuttle in EVE Online are a reference to the Space Oddity song, in which David Bowie claims “he feels very still” and thinks that “my spaceship knows which way to go.”

It’s probably the main reason the ship is stationary in the green cloud, yet it never remains in the same place for too long. I’ll be interested to learn if there’s a pattern behind Space Oddity’s appearances in the game, but that will be very hard to determine.

Anyway, my Signal Cartel membership, one of the largest corporations in the game that focuses exclusively on exploration, has many benefits. One of them is being able to find the most elusive locations in EVE Online and deciphering some of the game’s biggest lore mysteries.

Thanks to Signal Cartel member Maldis Vern, I’ve been able to visit the Space Oddity and take a few screenshots. I’m not sure how long it will remain in the system, but if you’re close to Annages (0.7 security status), you might want to pay it a visit. Fly safe!
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