The ESS Quetzel,[1][2] also known as The Shuttle,[3] is a reusable nuclear-powered[4] spacecraft built before the Great War.


The Quetzel is located in the ruins of San Francisco, on the remnants of the Golden Gate Bridge, though it lacks either rocket boosters or an external fuel tank; a quest involves finding fuel for it.[5]

There are three endings for the Hubologists regarding the shuttle that is inaccessible due to incomplete scripting. If the Chosen One does not get the fuel, the Hubologists use a cheap alternative, resulting in the shuttle exploding during liftoff.[6] If they get fuel, the liftoff is without complications, but the shuttle's air insulation is damaged, resulting in the Hubologist crew suffocating in space.[7] There is another ending that can trigger where they launch without issue, perishing due to not accounting for the use of recycled air onboard.[8]

Behind the scenes

San Fran shuttle unused.jpg
  • Pressing the 5 key at the San Francisco map will bring the player character to a location with an "UNUSED ART" room - the shuttle interior. Attempting to examine certain things will make it say there is a shuttle wall. It is impossible to leave this area other than reloading an earlier save.
  • ESS is one of the several remnants of the original name for the Hubologists, standing for Elronologist Space Ship. The name was a pun on L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, before Black Isle made the parody less blatant by calling them Hubologists instead.
  • Additionally, no other United States Space Administration spacecraft have an acronym in their naming patterns, most being a mission identifier and number (Zeus 12, Virgo II and III, Delta IX, Valiant 12, Defiance 7, and the Clarabella 7).


The ESS Quetzel appears only in Fallout 2.


  1. The Chosen One: "{177}{}{When does the spaceship take off?}"
    AHS-9: "{198}{}{The ESS Quetzel will launch when the stars are right. }"
  2. Hubologist computer: "{133}{}{ESS Quetzel fueled and ready to launch.}"
    "{134}{}{ESS Quetzel unfueled.}"
  3. Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets p.224: "15. The Shuttle. A quasi-religious cult of fanatics is busy building a shuttle (see Figure 11.8) to take them to the stars. This vehicle is the result of years of intensive effort-it lacks only a few vital parts before its historic-hysteric?-journey into space."
  4. The Chosen One: "{124}{}{What new tech have you developed?}"
    Crockett: "{157}{}{Let's see... I built a nuclear reactor for the spaceship. I created the hardening process for power armor. And I fix things that are broken.}<"
  5. The Chosen One: "{118}{}{I'm here to obtain fuel for the Hubologists.}"
    Jing Tie Gahng: "{133}{}{They want fuel, do they? Well, as irritating as they are, they do have their uses. I have heard they have developed a process wherein they make a suit of power armor even more invincible. If they will upgrade such a suit of armor for me, I will pass the fuel along the pipeline. I assume it's for their toy spaceship. It is the one called Crocket that you will wish to speak with.}"
  6. Fallout 2 endings: "“The scientists grew tired of waiting for the Star Father to come for them or provide the fuel they needed. Using a cheap derivative fuel, they launched an abortive effort to reach the stars themselves. Their shuttle exploded moments after take off."
  7. Fallout 2 endings: "The scientists, unable to figure out how to create an airtight seal on their ship, went ahead and launched it anyway, believing that the Star Father would protect them once they left earth's atmosphere. They perished in orbit."
  8. Fallout 2 endings: "The scientists ensured a safe and speedy launch of the Quetzel. Unfortunately, they didn't account for having recycled air aboard their ship, and they perished in orbit."
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