From Dragon Ball Encyclopedia, the ''Dragon Ball'' wiki
Attack Balls, or Saiyan Space Pods (サイヤ人 宇宙船, Saiya-jin Uchūsen; Literally meaning "Saiyan Spaceship") are a type of spaceship used by Saiyans and various henchmen of Freeza (such as Kewie and the Ginyu Force) for interplanetary travel. While the Saiyans are under the employment of Freeza, these vehicles are used to send low-class Saiyans to distant worlds so that they can one day conquer and destroy any life on these planets.
The Attack Ball used incredible technology and even though they it was only 1.5 m in diameter, it housed an advanced environmental system and an incredibly fuel-efficient faster-than-light drive. Those traveling inside the Attack Ball were kept in a state of suspended animation that minimized the resources needed to keep them alive.
Attack Balls also had enough fuel to travel for 3 years without stopping, but the environmental systems were needed to be replenished every 6 months. To replenish the environmental system, the Attack Ball could simply enter the atmosphere of a planet that was even partially habitable to the occupant for 10 minutes. The Attack Ball could travel at a maximum speed of 3 light-years per hour. This often had consequences for the destination point, as the extreme speed often caused massive explosions upon impact, wiping out everything within a certain radius and leaving nothing but a massive crater in its place. Specialized landing pads could reduce the damage to non-existence. The Attack Balls themselves were heavily armored from the outside to prevent any damage during landing, as well as standing up to Nappa's Volcano Explosion, but the interior was incredibly fragile as a simple Ki Blast could destroy an Attack Ball from the inside. They also seemingly did not need any external force for takeoff, being self sufficient enough to launch themselves into space on their own.
The Attack Balls had a remote control, as demonstrated by Vegeta, which allowed the owner to recall their Attack Ball to their location or trigger a self-destruction, among other potential functions. The controller looked like a calculator and could command more than one Attack Ball, as the one held by Vegeta triggered Nappa's Attack Ball to explode.
There was also a much larger variant of Attack Ball, as seen in Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan, which was capable of transporting an entire army to another planet. It was destroyed by Broly when venting his power. It was never explained if this Saiyan Space Pod variant was a standard for the Saiyans/Freeza's Force or if this was a creation made solely by Paragus to give the illusion of the Saiyan's rebirth to lure Vegeta into a trap.
Planet Elite Force
Selypa, Tora, Shugesh, and Borgos used their Attack Balls to travel to Planet Meat in order to destroy the inhabitants in Bardock: The Father of Goku. After doing just that, the low-class Saiyan group was ambushed by Dodoria's Elite. Later, Bardock used his Attack Ball to arrive on Planet Meat only to find his comrades slain. After he defeated the elites, only to be beaten by Dodoria himself, a bloody Bardock survived and used his Attack Ball to travel back to Planet Vegeta. On the way, Bardock's Attack Ball detected another Attack Ball which carried his second son, Kakarrot (Goku), going in the opposite direction. On the Saiyan homeworld, Bardock exited his Attack Ball bloody and exhausted. It was later destroyed when Freeza used his Death Ball to blow up Planet Vegeta.
The Attack Ball that sent Son Goku to Planet Earth landed somewhere in a jungle or forest and it was there that Grandpa Son Gohan found the young Saiyan and adopted grandson (there are two versions of this):
- Grandpa Son Gohan finds Goku in a Attack Ball in flashbacks seen in Dragon Ball Z.
- Goku is found by Grandpa Son Gohan and the Attack Ball is nearby in Bardock: The Father of Goku.
Much later, Goku's old Attack Ball was discovered by Dr. Brief and he rebuilt it from scratch (though in an anime filler, the Attack Ball had activated a projection of the full moon and forced Son Gohan to transform into a Great Ape. Piccolo had to destroy the Attack Ball with the Special Beam Cannon). Gero said that unlike the destroyed Attack Balls of Raditz and Nappa, however, Goku's Attack Ball was in enough pieces to rebuild. The redesigned Attack Ball had a bedroom, bathroom, training room, and could get Goku to Planet Namek in a week. While the ship set a course for Planet Namek, Goku trained in 10x, 20x, and 100x gravity. Goku rested the last day until he arrived on Planet Namek. After becoming a Super Saiyan, Goku told Gohan to take Bulma and Piccolo to his ship, however, all of the people (excluding Goku and Freeza) on Planet Namek were teleported off. The ship was most likely destroyed by Planet Namek's explosion. However, it did not stop the creation of at least two more Capsule Corporation Attack Balls as, at least in the anime, Vegeta stole a Capsule Corporation Attack Ball to try and locate Goku (this one was later destroyed during the three year training period when Vegeta overexerted himself) and another was used to replace the one Vegeta destroyed during training.
The first seen ball was Raditz's Attack Ball. After finding his younger brother, Goku was useless to him, Raditz stole his nephew Gohan and put the boy in his Attack Ball. Later, an angry Gohan burst out of the ball, destroying it completely.
Nappa and Vegeta
After Raditz's death and the discovery of the Dragon Balls, Nappa and Vegeta used their Attack Balls to get to Planet Earth. On the way, the two Saiyans stopped and destroyed Planet Arlia (this happened in the anime only, they went straight on without any stops in the manga). A year later, Nappa and Vegeta arrived and landed in South City. Later, after Nappa's death and Vegeta's defeat, Vegeta used a remote control to have his pod arrive at his position and when it arrived Vegeta escaped in his Attack Ball to Planet Freeza. The remote control was found by Krillin, who gave it to Bulma. Bulma used the remote on Nappa's Attack Ball, only to have it accidentally explode while it was on television. Later, a revitalized Vegeta used his Attack Ball to get from Planet Freeza to Planet Namek. After the pod landed on Namek with Vegeta in it, it wasn't seen again and was most likely destroyed when Planet Namek exploded (although he is later seen using one in The Return of Cooler).
One of Freeza's employees, Cui uses the attack ball to get to Planet Namek. (It is implied that Cui used a Attack Ball to get to the planets that he destoyed for Freeza). Cui's Attack Ball was never seen again and was most likely destroyed when Planet Namek exploded.
Ginyu Special Corps
The Attack Balls used by Ginyu, Recoome, Burter, Jeice, and Guldo were the same as the Saiyan Attack Balls, the only difference was that their Attack Balls had their symbols on them. The Ginyu Force's Attack Balls land next to Freeza's Spaceship. After defeating Freeza, Goku used one of the Attack Balls to escape Planet Namek's explosion. While resting from his long, exhausting fight against Freeza, the Attack Ball landed on Planet Yardrat. (It is implied that had the Ginyu Force, and by extension Freeza, lived after fighting on Planet Namek, they would have conquered Planet Yardrat for Freeza's Forces). After his Attack Ball was repaired, Goku (in Yardrat clothing) used it to travel back to Earth. The other Attack Balls were presumed to be destroyed in Planet Namek's explosion.
- Broly (The Attack Ball's door was broken open when Broly burst out after landing.)
- Paragus (The Attack Ball was crushed with Paragus inside by an infuriated Broly.)