Seed ships are unmanned spaceships launched from Earth by the Ancients tens of millions of years ago. A minimum of 2,000 years before launching the Destiny, the Ancients sent out several of these ships to make a path for the Destiny across the universe. Their mission was to search for suitable planets, plant Stargates on them, then transmit that information back to the Destiny. The crew aboard Destiny would then explore these planets.
The Seed ships have the same basic shape as Destiny, but are only about half the size in dimensions and a third of the mass. They are flatter in their overall design, lacking the large, pyramid-shaped living structure that Destiny has, and the wings at the rear of the vessel are hollow like those of the Ancient shuttle. A docking port is located at the rear of the vessel, which allows Destiny to dock with the ship using a receiving port on its underside. The docking port doubles as a power and data link.
The Seed ships are designed to manufacture and deploy Stargates on worlds which may possess the resources necessary for Destiny's journey, as well as planets suitable for exploration. The gate factory on the Seed ships appears to stretch along the length of ship, and has room to hold numerous gates at once. Data on these planets is transmitted to Destiny via a subspace link, which is used to determine the ship's course as well as give Destiny places to resupply.
Like Destiny, Seed ships are armed with pulse weapons for defense, though presumably they are not as well armed, given their smaller size. Only the anti-fighter turrets have been shown, so it is unknown if they possess a larger main weapon as Destiny does.
Seed ships have vast power reserves. When connected to a Stargate, these reserves should, in theory, allow stable wormholes to be established spanning at least the distance between the Milky Way and Destiny.
The corridors inside the ship are very narrow, with only enough room for a group to walk single file. Pipes, tubes and gears are exposed everywhere, making it difficult to navigate the ship quickly. A control room similar to Destiny's Control interface room is located near the rear of the vessel, which allows the ship to be manually controlled. (SGU: "Air, Part 2", "Sabotage", "Awakening", "Resurgence")
A short time after arriving on Destiny, Dr. Nicholas Rush managed to gain access to the subspace link that these ships use to communicate with Destiny, and had begun to sift through the data, looking for anything of interest. (SGU: "Life")
Shortly after the Lucian Alliance invasion, the expedition encountered a derelict Seed ship. Destiny docked with it and began downloading information from its database. They also learned that its energy reserves could be used to establish a wormhole to Earth. During their exploration of the ship, the expedition discovered a group of aliens living on the ship. Though the first one they found was docile, the rest attacked the people on the ship when they tried to dial the gate, stunning them. They reversed the power flow, threatening to drain Destiny completely. The first one escaped custody. Colonel David Telford remained on the ship to try and reverse the damage while everyone retreated. Rush, meanwhile, severed the docking link from the bridge, thus ending the power transfer. Destiny jumped to FTL, leaving Telford alone on the ship with the aliens. (SGU: "Awakening")
When Destiny was under attack by Berzerker drones, Telford's Seed ship arrived and helped them escape the drones by passing through a Star. Telford had managed to form a working relationship with the aliens, known as the Ursini, in the intervening month. The Ursini asked for Destiny's help in defeating the Control Ship controlling the drones, and in exchange offered the use of the seed ship to dial Earth. The initial plan was to jump to a safe location to effect repairs before attacking the ship, but the Ursini instead took Destiny straight to it, presumably because they feared the expedition would not honor the deal. The Seed ship attempted to engage the drones so Destiny could concentrate on the command ship, but the drones just bypassed it and converged on Destiny. Thanks to the Nakai joining the battle and creating a diversion, Destiny managed to destroy the Control Ship after its link with the drones was jammed by Eli Wallace and Rush, but the Ursini learned that they were the last of their kind and cut off communications with Destiny and went dark. The Seed ship blew its FTL dropping out so early to bring Destiny to the command ship and was unable to escape as was Destiny. When a second wave of drones attacked, the Ursini, feeling sorry for dragging the humans into their war, launched a suicide attack on the command ship, drawing away the drones from Destiny. The Seed ship was destroyed, but the attack bought Eli and Rush time to implement a plan of their own which in turn bought Destiny's crew time to repair the shields and escape to FTL. (SGU: "Resurgence", "Deliverance")
Behind the scenes
Joseph Mallozzi on his blog stated that it was safe to assume that the automated ships replenished their capacitors in the same manner as Destiny itself namely by plunging into stars. Furthermore, he said that it made sense that the gate Seed ships possessed the capacity to source material from the worlds they passed.
|Capital ships||Alteran ship · Aurora-class · City-ship · Destiny|
|Other ships||Cruiser · Puddle Jumper · Science vessel · Seed ship · Shuttle · Transport ship|