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Long ago when the Earth was on fire, 12 stations floated through space all alone. Then one day, Mir floated by Shenzhen, and they realized life would be better together. The other stations saw this, and they wanted to be together, too. When all the stations were joined, they called themselves… [The Ark]
Leigh in the Ark Unity Day pageant [src]

The Ark (also known as "Ark Station" or the "United Ark Federation"[1]) was an orbiting space station that served as the home of the Arkers. The Arkers are descendants of those who escaped the Nuclear Apocalypse on Earth 97 years before the events of the series.

The entire station was governed by a Chancellor and his Council. The Chancellor was elected by the people and the council. Acting-Chancellors were appointed by the official Chancellor as substitutes. Under the Council and Chancellor were the Ark Guard who were the main security and law enforcement force on the 12 stations. The Guard was led by high ranking Guardsmen who resided in Alpha Station and other privileged stations.

Along with the Delinquents' Camp, The Ark served as a primary location during the events of first season of the show. Following the events of the finale, the Ark was broken up into its constituent stations; leaving only the Government & Science (Go-Sci Ring) in orbit. As of the end of Season Two, a nuclear component of the high-tech space station is in possession of the Artificial Intelligence A.L.I.E.

While the Go-Sci Ring remained in orbit, it was formerly used by A.L.I.E. in Season Three and Spacekru in Season Four. Spacekru, made up of five Sky People and two Grounders, lived aboard the Ring during the 6 years it took for radiation levels to drop following the Second Nuclear Apocalypse. They remained aboard until the Season Five episode, "Sleeping Giants" when they abandoned the Ring.

History and Background[]

Ark Federation

United Ark Federation

When the Nuclear Apocalypse occurred on May 10, 2052, there were 13 space stations orbiting Earth. The space station inhabitants assumed Earth was uninhabitable and that they were the only survivors. To pool resources and populations, the federation stations decided to merge into a single space habitat, the Ark.

The docking procedures were initiated on October 1, 2054. However, when one of the stations, Polaris, failed to comply with the unification orders, Alpha Station launched a missile and destroyed it. The remaining 12 stations, which were from 12 Nations, successfully joined together. All mentions of Polaris were wiped and the day was remembered as Unity Day.

The 12 Nations that formed the Ark:
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • India
  • Japan
  • Russia
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uganda
  • Venezuela

An event known only as the "blight" occurred early in the Ark's history. People on the Ark had to choose between cannibalism or starving to death. Those who chose to eat had to watch those who chose not to eat slowly die. According to Abby Griffin, "their guilt nearly destroyed them." Those who went through the blight became known as the Blight Generation. Afterward, the Ark started floating their dead.

Over the years, the Ark expanded through the harvesting [2] of satellites from Earth orbit. However, as the population grew, resources grew scarce. Strict steps were taken to ensure of the survival of the human race, including limiting couples to only one child and punishing all crimes committed by adults with death. Nonetheless, by 2149, the Ark's original population of about 400 had grown to 2,659.[3]

The Ark was intended to sustain survivors for 200 years, after which it was believed that Earth would once again be survivable and the inhabitants could return to the ground. However, less than a century after unification, life support began to fail on the Ark. By 2148, even the best repair estimates had the work taking longer than the system could keep the population alive. As a means of lessening the load on the system and testing the survivability of Earth, a hundred juvenile delinquents, known as the 100, were sent to the ground in a dropship.

Still facing a failing life support system, and not knowing if the 100 survived, the Ark was forced to cull 320 volunteers, bringing the population to 2,237. After learning that Earth was survivable, the Council prepared for Project Exodus. However, there were only enough drop ships for 700 residents, leading to a mutiny that left the Ark crippled. The survivors then separated the Ark into the original 12 stations and used the thrusters to bring them to the ground, leaving only the Go-Sci Ring in space.

Throughout the Series[]

We Are Grounders (Part 2) 055 (The Ark)

The Ark returning to Earth

Approximately one year before the start of the first episode, it had been discovered by Jake Griffin that The Ark's oxygen system was failing, which was the reason that the 100 were sent to Earth. This problem presumably continues to worsen as the season progresses.

Following Diana Sydney's mutiny, an Exodus ship is launched without detaching, severely damaging the Ark and killing approx. 1,500 on board. With stations imminent life support failure and dropships no longer functional, Jaha realizes the only way to save the rest of the citizens is by bringing the Ark and its people to the ground. In the episode, We Are Grounders (Part 2), Jaha sends all except the Central Government and Science (Go-Sci) Station to Earth. Most stations break apart in the atmosphere but Mecha, Alpha, Farm, and Factory Stations have shown to at least partially survive re-entry.

We Are Grounders (Part 2) 073 (The Ark)

The remains of the Ark after Project Exodus

Throughout the first two episodes the sole resident of the remnants of the Ark, Thelonious Jaha, finds a way to make it back down to Earth in order to help save his people. He spacewalks from one side of the Go-Sci Ring to the other and, after disarming a nuclear warhead, he takes the space-to-ground missile to the surface, leaving the Ark deserted.

In Thirteen, a flashback is shown of the formation of the Ark and the destruction of Polaris when the station's commander hesitates to join due to the presence of the Flame.

In Red Sky at Morning, A.L.I.E. uses the Polaris escape pod to transmit herself into the computer system's on the Go-Sci Ring in orbit, the only part of the Ark left in space. A.L.I.E. reassures Thelonious Jaha that on the Ark, she is safe from any harm as she is now unreachable.

In The Chosen, Clarke decides that instead of trying to return to the Second Dawn Bunker to escape the Second Nuclear Apocalypse, she and her friends will instead travel to the Ark to survive in space as their ancestors once did to escape the first Nuclear Apocalypse.

In Praimfaya, Bellamy Blake, Raven Reyes, John Murphy, Emori, Harper McIntyre, Monty Green and Echo travel to the Go-Sci Ring in order to escape the Second Nuclear Apocalypse. Clarke is forced to remain on the ground to power up the Ark using a radio tower while the group uses the oxygen generator from the bunker on Becca's Island to replace the Ark's failed life support systems. Six years later, Clarke, who survived on Earth due to being a Nightblood, has been attempting to contact the Ark every day since the world ended without success.

In Sleeping Giants, Bellamy Blake, Raven Reyes, John Murphy, Emori, Harper McIntyre, Monty Green and Echo, now known as Spacekru have left the Go-Sci Ring to get hydrazine fuel from Eligius IV.

In Damocles (Part 2), Madi reveals to Bellamy that Clarke had spent six years trying to contact him on the Ark, helping to convince Bellamy to forgive Clarke for her actions.

In Red Sun Rising, The Ark ring is mentioned by Bellamy to Murphy, when Bellamy has induced the psychotic toxin. The Ark is also mentioned in "The Face Behind the Glass".

In the episodes Memento Mori, Nevermind, and Matryoshka, the Ark is seen in a dream-like Mindspace, where Clarke is trapped inside her head, due to Josephine Lightbourne controlling her body.

In False Gods, James Crockett mentions that Jacapo Sinclair was a genius at jury-rigging the Ark's nuclear reactor and so he is confident that he can easily fix Sanctum's reactor. However, James accidentally causes a reactor meltdown, killing him in process. Later, after realizing that something is wrong with the reactor, Raven Reyes enlists the help of Emori, who had helped her with the upkeep on the Ark's reactor during Spacekru's six years there, to help her fix Sanctum's reactor.

In The Queen's Gambit, in a flashback to three years after the Second Nuclear Apocalypse, Bellamy and Echo sit on the Ark talking before sharing a kiss.

In The Last War, after starting the test to determine the human race's fate for herself, Raven appears on the Ark which is in its complete form and looks out of the window only to notice that the Earth is gone. Appearing in the form of Abby Griffin, the Judge comments that the Earth is about 42 billion light-years away. The two remain on the Ark until the Judge takes Raven to Bardo to see the developing situation between the factions.

In the episode's final moments, a flashback is shown to Clarke drawing on the Ark before being sent down to Earth.

Station Components[]

ArkStations 1x13

Ark Station monitor display

The major divisions of the Ark were functionally named Stations. Other divisions of the Ark include station sections and docks with alpha-numeric designations, such as Section 17, the location of the room where The Culling took place and B dock, the location where the Delinquents' Exodus ship was launched from.

Government & Science Station[]

The Government & Science Station (Go-Sci for short or simply The Ring)[4] is the large primary ring of the Ark. Go-Sci and the Ark's other ring stations rotate to create artificial gravity using centripetal force. The station has a United States flag on it, implying that much of Go-Sci was converted from the original United States national station. It may possibly imply that the Go-Sci station was merged with the Alpha Station, before the Nuclear Apocalypse in 2052.

Go-Sci is the location of the key command and operations sections of the Ark. It was also left behind in orbit when the rest of the Ark was de-orbited and is the only remaining Ark component in space after Project Exodus. Jaha stayed behind on this station before returning to Earth. Go-Sci Station was abandoned in orbit. It still has power and A.L.I.E. was able to upload her code to it.

It was revealed that the Go-Sci station has an algae farm.

Bellamy Blake, John Murphy, Raven Reyes, Harper McIntyre, Monty Green, Emori and Echo lived on this station for 6 years, before recovering hydrazine fuel from Eligius IV to power their rocket in order to return to Earth.

The ring is apparently where the Ark's nuclear reactor is located. In "False Gods," Raven mentions working on the reactor with Emori during their six years on the ring.

Ark Station Medical[]

Ark Station Medical is located within Go-Sci Station.

  • Doctor Abigail Griffin worked here as the Ark's senior medical officer.
  • Doctor Jackson also worked here alongside Dr. Griffin.

Earth Monitoring Station[]

Pilot 069

The Delinquents' vitals

The Earth Monitoring Station is located within Go-Sci Station. Prior to the Delinquents' wristbands used to monitor the effects of earth on the Sky People, the Ark was "earth blind" after cannibalizing all the satellites in space.[5]. It was from this station where Chancellor Jaha initiated Project Exodus allowing everyone else to attempt reentry to Earth while he himself stayed behind in orbit.

Agro Station[]

Farm Station

Farm Station in the Ice Nation

Agro Station, more commonly known as Farm Station, was the Ark's agricultural facility. It is where edible plants and vegetables were grown, used as food by the inhabitants. It was also known for moonshine and medicinal herbs.[6]

Agro was one of three stations evacuated after losing power during the Unity Day mutiny. During the Exodus, it survived its descent to Earth and crashed deep into Ice Nation territory somewhere to the northwest from Alpha Station with approx 200 survivors. Two-thirds of the population was lost in conflicts with Azgeda. On January 28, 2150, they met up with other survivors from the Ark. Within a week, the remaining population relocated to Arkadia and Mount Weather.

Alpha Station[]

CampJaha2 2x03

Alpha Station wreckage

The Alpha Station belonged to the United States. It was lead station when the Ark was formed in 2054. When Polaris delayed docking, Alpha Station destroyed Polaris as a lesson to the other stations that dissent will not be tolerated. Little is known about Alpha Station's role in the Ark afterward.

During the Exodus, it survived the descent to Earth. The station was used to establish a settlement, first named Camp Jaha and later renamed to Arkadia, at the landing site. Arkadia became the primary home of the survivors of Project Exodus. In Season Four, the survivors intended to use the station as a bunker to survive the death wave, however Ilian set an explosion, damaging the station.

This station was home to goverment officials, high ranking Guard members, doctors, and some council members.

Arrow Station[]

The Arrow Station is located at the end of the Ark, away from Go-Sci and is adjacent to Mecha Station. This station was called Shenzhen before the nuclear apocalypse and may alternatively be spelled "Aero." Little is known about its role in the Ark.

Factory Station[]

Many Happy Returns 008 (Factory Station)

Factory Station wreckage

Factory Station presumably manufactured items needed by the Ark from recycled materials and/or broken components. During the Exodus, it survived the descending to Earth but had a rough landing due to it hitting the side of a cliff and shattering with only one survivor.

Hydra Station[]

Hydra Station, often pronounced "Hydro Station"[7] and thus possibly water-related, i.e. reclamation and possibly aquaculture. One of three stations evacuated after losing power during the Unity Day mutiny.

In "Die All, Die Merrily", when Skaikru moved into the Second Dawn Bunker, Nathan Miller was directing survivors to where they would reside. He directed Hydra Station survivors to level 5, thus revealing there were at least some survivors from the station. Some interpreted that line to mean that the entire station survived reentry to Earth.

Mecha Station[]

We Are Grounders (Part 2) 080 (Abby)

Mecha Station after landing on Earth.

The Ark's mechanical facilities were located in Mecha Station. Unknown to most, one of the station's maintenance bays housed a 130-year-old escape pod salvaged from Mir-3 in 2102. One of three stations evacuated after losing power during the Unity Day mutiny. The station's hull has a Brazilian flag painted on it, implying that much of Mecha Station was converted from the original Brazilian national station.

Mecha Station and Farm Station are the only known stations without casualties from the Ark separation, re-entry, and landing. It was abandoned by the Sky People in favor of Alpha Station.

Prison Station[]

Pilot 006

The Sky Box

Prison Station is also known as the Sky Box and Lockup. It is the station that contained the juvenile prison where the Delinquents remained before being sent to Earth. Those who are under the age of majority when convicted of a crime are sent to the Sky Box until the age of 18. At 18, The Council reviews their case and it is decided if they should be executed or released. It was the fourth station that lost power during the Unity Day mutiny although it was not mentioned if it was also evacuated.

Tesla Station[]

Based on the names, Tesla Station may be the formal name for Power Station. Little is known about Tesla Station, but it was shown on computer displays as one of the stations that separated from the Ark and descended to Earth. Power Station was only named once as stations reported ready for Ark separation and atmospheric reentry. Presumably, it generated the majority of the electrical power used on the Ark. It was most likely unable to function after the Unity Day mutiny due to damages.

Flint Station[]

Flint Station was mentioned on the Ark intercom system in season 1. It is not known what this station exactly looks like or its purpose. It is one of the twelve Ark stations that used to be national stations. This station may have had basic living quarters and might have been used for other needs.

Orchid Station[]

Orchid Station was also mentioned in the Ark intercom system in season 1. The purpose and location of this station is unknown. Orchid Station was one of the national stations that joined together to form the Ark.

Other Components[]


Raven's pod 1x05

Raven's pod on its way to Earth

Dropships are dedicated reentry vehicles allowing the return to Earth. After using one Exodus ship to send down the 100 and losing another to Diana Sydney's mutiny, the Ark’s drop ship capacity was reduced to 600 people, however, the damage to the Ark was too catastrophic to be able to use the remaining dropships.

  • Exodus ship – A large, 100-person drop ship. Seven to eight Exodus Ships were on the Ark. A total of 800 people could have been evacuated.
  • Escape pod – A small, 2-person drop ship
  • Space shuttles – At least two shuttles can be seen docked to the Ark when initial docking procedures began. Space shuttles may have been able to house 4-6 people.


Thrusters1 1x13

The thrusters propelling the Ark toward Earth

Thrusters are normally used to keep the Ark in its proper orbit since even in low-Earth orbit there is enough atmospheric friction to slow orbits over long periods of time. Each component station had thrusters and Chancellor Jaha came up with the idea to use the thrusters to make most of the Ark itself a large "dropship".


The Ark was constructed by merging 12 national space stations, three of which have been named.


(Russian: Мир-3; literally: "peace" or "world") was a Russian space station, and one of the 12 national space stations that the Grounders joined together to form the Ark. Mir-3 was launched 130 years ago, and salvaged in 2102.


(Chinese: ; pinyin: Shénzhèn; literally: "divine-town") was a Chinese space station and one of the 12 national space stations that the Grounders joined together to form the Ark.

Shenzhen formed part of Arrow Station, as shown in the episode Spacewalker when in the flashback it shows Chinese writing. One of the metal box components on Government and Science Station has a U.S. flag and Chinese flag on it, implying that Alpha Station and Shenzhen formed parts of the Go-Sci ring.

Airlock 1x03

Shenzhen airlock

The airlock that was going to be used for Abigail Griffin's execution in Pilot had Chinese characters over the door, indicating that the airlock was originally part of Shenzhen. This was the same airlock used for Jake Griffin's execution, although whether or not it is the same one used for all executions is unknown. The words "Solid Waste Disposal" were written beneath the characters in English although it is unknown whether they were part of Shenzhen's original design or if they were added later.


The International Space Station formed part of the Alpha Station, as shown in Demons when Emerson is holding Clarke's friends in the airlock. On the walls of the airlock, it has ISS POWERLOCK written on the wall. It is unknown if this is the same airlock in shown in any executions but the airlock is shown in Coup de Grâce as Emerson's prison during episodes of Season Two but ISS POWERLOCK is not seen.


Main articles: Sky People and Body Count

During its 95 years of operation, the Ark had roughly between 400 and 2,659 residents. As of the Season Four finale, the population of the Go-Sci Ring is seven after the survivors from Becca's Island were forced back into space by Praimfaya. They lived on the Ring for six years and seven days until the survivors left the Ring to go to Eligius IV to find fuel to get down to Earth.


In this section, the Ark is referred to as the Ark being up in space as a whole. This does not include separate stations of the space station as seen in Season Two.

Season One
Episode Appearance Status
Earth SkillsAppears
Earth KillsAppears
Murphy's LawAppears
Twilight's Last GleamingAppears
His Sister's KeeperAppears
Contents Under PressureAppears
Day TripAppears
Unity DayAppears
I Am Become DeathMentioned
The CalmAppears
We Are Grounders (Part 1)Appears
We Are Grounders (Part 2)Appears
Season Two
Episode Appearance Status
The 48Appears
Inclement WeatherAppears
Many Happy ReturnsAbsent
Human TrialsAbsent
Fog of WarMentioned
Long Into an AbyssAbsent
Remember MeMentioned
Survival of the FittestMentioned
Coup de GrâceMentioned
Bodyguard of LiesAbsent
Blood Must Have Blood (Part 1)Mentioned
Blood Must Have Blood (Part 2)Mentioned
Season Three
Episode Appearance Status
Wanheda (Part 1)Mentioned
Wanheda (Part 2)Absent
Ye Who Enter HereAbsent
Watch the ThronesAbsent
Bitter HarvestMentioned
Terms and ConditionsMentioned
Stealing FireAbsent
Join or DieFlashback
Red Sky at MorningAppears
Perverse Instantiation (Part 1)Absent
Perverse Instantiation (Part 2)Absent
Season Four
Episode Appearance Status
Heavy Lies the CrownAbsent
The Four HorsemenAbsent
A Lie GuardedAbsent
The Tinder BoxAbsent
We Will RiseAbsent
Gimme ShelterAbsent
God ComplexAbsent
Die All, Die MerrilyAbsent
The Other SideAbsent
The ChosenMentioned
Season Five
Episode Appearance Status
Red QueenMentioned
Sleeping GiantsAppears
Pandora's BoxAbsent
Shifting SandsAbsent
Exit WoundsMentioned
Acceptable LossesAbsent
How We Get to PeaceAbsent
Sic Semper TyrannisAbsent
The Warriors WillAbsent
The Dark YearAbsent
Damocles (Part 1)Absent
Damocles (Part 2)Mentioned
Season Six
Episode Appearance Status
Red Sun RisingMentioned
The Children of GabrielAbsent
The Face Behind the GlassMentioned
The Gospel of JosephineAbsent
Memento MoriAppears
The Old Man and the AnomalyAbsent
What You Take With YouMentioned
Ashes to AshesMentioned
Adjustment ProtocolAbsent
The Blood of SanctumAbsent
Season Seven
Episode Appearance Status
From the AshesMentioned
The GardenAbsent
False GodsMentioned
Welcome to BardoAbsent
The Queen's GambitFlashback
The FlockAbsent
A Little SacrificeAbsent
The StrangerAbsent
Blood GiantAbsent
A Sort of HomecomingAbsent
The Dying of the LightAbsent
The Last WarAppears


Notes and Trivia[]

  • The name is a literal interpretation of the Bible story Noah's Ark, a refuge for the survivors of a species after an apocalypse.
  • The Ark is the birthplace of the Sky People.
  • Due to overcrowding, the Ark had a one child rule where families were only allowed to have one child. Because of this, Octavia Blake is the only second child in her generation.
  • In the novels, the space station is called the Colony.
  • In "We Are Grounders (Part 2)", the closed captioning also lists Orchid and Flint Stations.
  • The Ark is the namesake of Arkadia.
  • The original residents of the Ark were called Grounders because they were born on the ground.
  • The only Grounders who were born after the first nuclear apocalypse to have stepped foot onto the Ark are Echo and Emori. In "Praimfaya", they escaped from the death wave on Earth by traveling to the Ark.
  • According to Monty Green in "Praimfaya," Becca Franko's company designed most of the technology that went to the space stations that made up the Ark.
  • As revealed in "False Gods," the Ark is powered by a nuclear reactor that Jacapo Sinclair was a genius at jury-rigging. Its suggested that this reactor is located on the Go-Sci Ring, explaining why the ring still has power in the later seasons even after the rest of the Ark descends to the ground and the disaster with the Exodus ship caused by Diana Sydney's Rebellion.

See Also[]

External links[]

  • ОПСЭК (OPSEK; planned Russian successor to ISS) at Wikipedia (could either precede, or evolve into, “Mir-3”)
  • Mir-2 (Мир-2; core of ISS) at Wikipedia
  • Mir (Мир; 1986–1996) at Wikipedia
  • Shenzhou ( ; Shénzhōu; “divine-boat”) real space craft on Wikipedia
  • Tiangong ( ; Tiāngōng; “heavenly-palace”) real space station on Wikipedia
  • Shenzhen ( ; Shēnzhèn; “deep-drains”) real city with superficially similar transcribed name (i.e. without tone marks)


  2. Rothenberg, Jason (26 Mar 2014) Tweet “Fact: … space stations of 12 Nations PLUS thousands of satellites.” - @JRothenbergTV
  3. Initially stated as 2094, it was retconned in "Contents Under Pressure".
  4. Rothenberg, Jason (16 January 2013) The Hundred "Pilot" script (Second Network Rewrite) gives both the Government & Science Station full name, and the Go-Sci nickname. On the show itself, Go-Sci was first heard in the season finale, which also shows it as "Go-Sci" on a display panel when Thelonious Jaha first hears confirmation that Mecha Station survived landing on Earth.
  7. "We Are Grounders (Part 2)" – confirms spelling as "Hydra" despite "Hydro" pronunciation.