Caption: Escape pods, on course for Gravett Island
Caption: Enterprise-E crew members abandon ship via the pods
Caption: Sisko watches his ship explode
A space-faring version of a lifeboat, the escape pod is often used in emergency situations, when the crew of a starship (or other vessel) is required to abandon ship.
In 2373, Captain Picard ordered all hands to escape pods when it looked like his ship, the Enterprise-E, would also succomb to a Borg attack. The pods set a course for Gravett Island, where the crew was later picked up once the crisis with the Borg was averted.