No dimensions are given, but there are several scenes when we see Steve Zodiac and other members of the crew exiting the craft on their jet-mobiles. Based on these shots and using ‘6ft scale man’, we can calculate the size of the ship.
Fireball is equipped with multiple Interceptor missiles which are seen to quite easily damage or destroy spacecraft.
Speeds are referred to as a unique ‘space velocity’. The only speed given is Space Velocity 7. There is nothing stated in the show that relates this to miles per hour. We know that Fireball patrols Sector 25, but we do not know where this is located relative to our solar system. We are shown that these patrols last several months.
However, in Faster Than Light it is made clear that Fireball is not designed to travel faster than light under its own power. In this episode there is a malfunction which causes the ship to travel 10 times the speed of light, but it is heavily damaged as a result. During the episode, while Steve Zodiac tries to regain control, we see several shots of the ‘speed indicator’ which shows Sound, Heat and Light, with ‘danger’ surrounding the ‘light’ area (but these each occupy 25% of the display!). Fireball and Fireball Junior certainly travel at sub-sonic speeds when carrying out planetary explorations. Steve Zodiac states ‘we have breached the light barrier’ as the needle passes the line at ‘3 o’clock’ in the middle of the ‘Light’ section (this could suggest that the scale around the dial increases exponentially from the speed of sound at ‘9 o’clock’ to the speed of light at ‘3 o’clock). Honestly, I don’t think the filmmakers put too much thought into this. But in an effort to provide something meaningful for this game, and which fits within the context of the show, a miles per hour speed is needed, so the following formula was used.
Each ‘Space Velocity’ is 1/10th the speed of light. Space Velocity 7 is 0.7 times the speed of light, or SOL 0.7. To give some context, if Fireball XL5 travelled at this speed from Earth, it would reach Neptune – the edge of the solar system – in approximately 2.5 days. This feels somewhat within the world of Fireball XL5, and makes it one of the fastest cards in the deck.
There are several Fireball spacecraft in the World Space Patrol. None have the prestige of Fireball XL5, under the command of Steve Zodiac. This spacecraft’s operations have saved the Earth on many occasions and helped to forge alliances with alien worlds on many others.
No year is ever stated, but in several episodes the team refer to the first days of space flight being 100 years ago. We can assume this is referring to the Mercury and Gemini programmes of the early 1960s. Taking a leaf from TV21 in which the era was established by adding 100 years, in this case adding 100 years to when the show was made which actually works.