In Elite (and in much other corny SciFi), a device you jump into that gets you away from your ship and to safety in a hurry.

The Elite version costs 1000 credits, and is launched by hitting `escape'. It then automatically navigates to the nearest planet; insurance is part of the pod price, so you get a ship identical to the one you lost (sans escape pod, of course). Enemy ships will sometimes launch escape pods just before blowing up; if you have fuel scoops you can pick them up -- they're a ton of slaves. Interestingly, enemy ships never pick up your pod.

aka escape module or (by the terminally silly) escape podule.

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