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The Rocinante ("Roci") is a Corvette-class light frigate with multiple roles, such as torpedo bomber and boarding party insertion.

Originally commissioned as the MCRN Tachi, the ship was stationed aboard the MCRN Battleship Donnager. She was rechristened by James Holden after he and his crew used her to escape from the Donnager. (A literary reference, "Rocinante" is Don Quixote's horse. "rocín" means "work horse" and "ante" means "before" or "no longer". Thus, Rocinante means "no longer a work horse".)

The ship's construction is like a narrow building, layered floor by floor from the drive cone and reactor up to the engineering deck, to the machine shop, then the galley and crew cabins and medical bays, storage deck containing the crew airlock, then on up to the command deck and pilot's farthest forward. Under thrust, g-forces then provide a "down" amenable to human orientation.

Her normal crew complement was over a dozen navy personnel and officers, and on many missions she’d also carry six marines. With a maximum capacity of twenty-two.

It looks like a big chisel with an upside-down coffee cup on the back.
Praxidike Meng
in Caliban's War


🐎 Joined crew after Nemesis Games (book)


Eros Incident

When the Donnager was destroyed, Jim Holden and his former crew of the Knight used her as an escape vessel.

Holden kept the ship, claiming it as salvage, giving it new transponder codes provided by Fred Johnson, and named her Rocinante after Don Quixote's horse. It was briefly disguised as a gas freighter during the Eros incident by engineers at Tycho station.

Battle for Thoth Station

During the battle at Thoth Station, the Roci took out the comm array and the two defensive ships while Guy Molinari boarded the station. During the battle, Roci took a lot of damage including a heavy gauss cannon round through the galley and machine shop.

Upon returning to Tycho Sam Rosenberg was the team leader in charge of her repairs much to Holden's admiration.

Later it was used by Holden and the crew to chase down Eros.

Ganymede Incident

After the Eros incident, the ship and its crew were employed as pirate-hunters by OPA, until Fred Johnson fired Holden for insubordination.

The Ring

After earning a large amount of money as an independent contractor, the crew did some upgrades on the Roci: The captain's quarters and the XO's quarters were combined into one large room by cutting out the bulkhead dividing them, a railgun firing two-pound tungsten slugs was mounted on the ship's keel to have a backup weapon when they ran out of military-grade torpedoes, and the engines got some after-market upgrades on Callisto.

Ilus IV conflict

The Rocinante and its crew are sent to the colony on Ilus IV to settle a dispute between two factions. During this a Ring builder construction causes all ships in orbit to lose the use of their fusion reactors forcing the Rocinante to use its new railgun to push itself into a higher orbit. During this the ship is damaged by debris requiring major repairs.

Free Navy Conflict

Upon returning to Tycho Station the Rocinante undergoes a major refit requiring the ship to remain in dock for an extended period of time. Its hull had been heavily damaged and the railgun connections to the hull had buckled badly. Most of the crew left the station on personal business with only Captain James Holden remaining to oversee the repairs/refit. The external hull was removed and replaced with a completely new one built from scratch.

When the Free Navy Conflict began including an attack on Tycho Stations itself which loyal Tycho Station OPA fought off the Rocinante was hired to transport Fred Johnson to meet with the United Nations and Martian Congressional Republic leadership on Luna. As most of the crew were not available an Outer Planets Alliance crew under Fred were brought on board to operate the ship under James Holden. The ship successfully makes it to Luna rescuing Naomi Nagata in the process.

Whilst docked on Luna Amos Burton snuck onboard Clarissa Mao who he had helped escape prison during the Bombardment of Earth's fallout.

The ship was employed to capture a Free Navy ship that was coordinating meteor attacks on Earth. The enemy ship was successfully captured and escorted to Luna. The Rocinante then joined the Consolidated Fleet during the Ceres Offensive.

When an agreement was made with Michio Pa's faction the Rocinante took control of a colony ship from Pa and delivered it to Ceres.

When Fred Johnson arranged a high-level OPA meeting at Tycho Station the Roci was hired to transport him there. Unfortunately for the crew the Free Navy had been expecting this and intercepted the Rocinante with three Corvette-class ships including Marcos Inaros's flagship the Pella. The ships engaged at high thrust with the odds against the Roci, however this ship had one major tactical advantage in that it had a keel-mounted railgun. Using its railgun, torpedoes, and PDCs the Roci managed to destroy one hostile and damage the Pella forcing it to withdraw whilst the third ship had to move away to defend against missiles fired at them from Ceres. The Roci escaped to Tycho however the high-g maneuvers used to aim the railgun caused Fred Johnson to have a stroke which he did not survive.

The Rocinante would partake in the Consolidated Fleet Offensive where it escorted the Giambattista into the slow zone where the OPA ship fired numerous missiles against the station as a decoy whilst a drop team landed on the Ring station surface to capture its railguns. The railguns were put out of action and captain Holden onboard the Roci was able to negotiate the station's surrender.

Thirty years later

The Rocinante served as ship for hire for the Transport Union where it was deployed as a show of force to the colony of Freehold. Upon arriving the governor was taken prisoner and taken to the Slow Zone. During the journey the governor escaped and attempted to vent the ship and kill the crew unsuccessfully.

When captain and executive officer James Holden and Naomi Nagata decided to retire and sell their percentage of the ship's ownership Bobbie Draper purchased them and became the new ship captain. Immediately afterwards she was summoned to a meeting and placed on a mandatory contract to be a part of the Stations defense when a Laconian fleet was to enter from the Laconia gate for the first time since the collapse of the Free Navy. Rocinante was to be support for the cruiser Tori Byron which would meet the Laconians. When the Tori Byron was suddenly destroyed by an unknown weapon Captain Draper ordered the Ring station railguns to fire at the enemy vessel. The same mysterious weapon was fired at Ring Station destroying its railguns whilst the Gathering Storm deployed Breaching pods onto Medina Station. The Rocinante stood down and made no offensive moves against the invaders and such was not fired upon. The ship later docked at the station where as a gunship was impounded.

During the insurrection and escape many inhabitants of the station the Roci was piloted by Alex Kamal out of its dock but kept it near the station in order to draw out the Gathering Storm and allow a strike team led by Bobbie Draper to board it. When the insurrectionists escaped onboard their ships the Rocinante with Alex Kamal, Naomi Nagata, and the governor of Freehold onboard they passed through the Freehold gate along with the newly captured Gathering Storm. Whilst the Gathering Storm would hide next to a moon in the system the Rocinante landed on the planet Freehold a half days march from the colony settlement.

Laconian dominance

Unable to leave the Freehold system Naomi and Alex found a large cavern system on Freehold's southernmost continent with a mouth big enough to edge the ship into. The Rocinante was placed into a tunnel, sealed up, and covered in storage tarps over a week. The ship was left here to be hidden away until its crew could return again and would be able to remain in this condition for up to centuries if left[3]

The price of victory

After the attack on Laconia, the Rocinante was modified at an Underground Shipyard in the Harris system. A set of extra plates were welded to the hull to alter the ship’s silhouette. The extra disguise plating is rigged with charges to blow the plates off the hull if needed. Naomi Nagata also tuned the Epstein Drive to run just dirty enough to change their drive signature. Additionally, they installed a system to dribble a small amount of liquid hydrogen across the hull to change the ship’s thermal profile.[4]

Using the layered camouflage, the ship assumed a new identity as the Vincent Soo, an independent small freighter under contract to the Atmosphäre Shared Liability Corporation out of Earth. The Vincent Soo was a real ship, with similar drive signature and silhouette to the modified Rocinante, but it did not operate outside of the Sol system.[5]


  • Although Holden states in Leviathan Wakes that he named the Rocinante after Don Quixote's horse from the novel Don Quixote, the name is also used in the song "Cygnus X-1" by Rush, from the album 'A Farewell to Kings', a band Ty Franck is a big fan of[6], because of the following lyrics:
Flew into the light of Deneb
Sailed across the Milky Way
On my ship, the "Rocinante"
Wheeling through the galaxies
  • Rocinante is Spanish for a workhorse or low-quality horse, but can also mean an illiterate or rough man. Pronounced: 'Rah-sih-nahntay' (or 'Rahsee' for Roci).

See also


External Links

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  6. 360° Video Inside the Rocinante


  1. 1.0 1.1 Josephus Miller was a guest from the midpoint through the end of Leviathan Wakes
    Praxidike Meng was a guest from early through the end of Caliban's War
    Roberta Draper was a guest from midpoint through the end of Caliban's War
    Chrisjen Avasarala was a guest from midpoint through the end of Caliban's War
    Basia Merton was a guest from early through the end of Cibola Burn
    Fred Johnson was a guest from midpoint through the end of Nemesis Games
  2. Joined crew after Nemesis Games
  3. The Expanse Novel: Tiamat's Wrath, chapter 2 - Naomi
  4. The Expanse Novel Leviathan Falls - Chapter 1: Jim
  5. The Expanse Novel Leviathan Falls - Chapter 3: Naomi