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A docking tube,[2] also known by other names such as boarding tube,[3] transport tube,[4] or umbilical tube,[5] was a temporary gangway used to connect two starships together in space for transfer between them.[6] These tubes could be extended to create a tunnel between the ships,[4] and retracted when no longer in use.[7] Some boarding tubes were transparent.[6]

At times, the port area on either side of the tube needed to be repressurized before opening a port door to access the tunnel. If beings were inside when one side was disconnected, they could experience explosive decompression.[4] These connections could be exploited to transfer an explosion within the tube to both conjoined ships.[5]

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