The Ark was built by the Autobots in the final days of the war on Cybertron. It was used as a transport ship to take Sentinel Prime and the Space bridge technology off planet, and keep it out of reach of the Decepticons. It is very heavily armed with numerous gun turrets as well as missile launchers.
Dark of the Moon film
In the final days of the war on Cybertron, the Ark tries to escape the battle carrying a precious cargo. It is pursued and attacked by Decepticon fighters. The crew in the Ark opened fire using the re-positioned main turret. Hot empty shells bounce around the gunner's stations, they succeed in destroying one of the craft. The Ark tries to lose them by flying through a gap in a fallen building, one ship crashes. As it gets further from the surface of the planet, a Decepticon fighter launches a cluster missile, just as the Ark reaches the upper atmosphere, the missiles hit, killing the crew, and resulting in severe damage, causing it to tumble through space, out of control.
Still tumbling, the Ark crashes on Earth's Moon in the year 1962. The impact was detected at a research station in the Arizona desert. Its discovery lead to what is known as the "Space Race". The Apollo mission was a front to field a mission to investigate the wrecked starship. The ship carried Sentinel Prime and hundreds of space bridge pillars inside a secure vault/hold built into the hull of the ship. Later though, it was raided by Decepticons for all but five of its pillars and Sentinel.
In 1969, Apollo 11 arrived, and Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong took samples from the ship as did the other Apollos that landed on the moon. All members of the Missions were sworn to secrecy, threatened with treason if they told anyone. The Russians landed probes and somehow managed to recover a fuel cell from the ship.
In 2011, after discovering its exsistance was kept from them, the Autobot transport ship Xantium came with Optimus Prime, Ratchet and some N.E.S.T lunar drones. The drones cut through the ship's hull. Optimus and Ratchet board. Optimus finds the control for the vault, and opens it. They recover Sentinel and the five remaining pillars, including the control pillar.
- Autobot Ark (Cyberverse playset, 2011)
- The playset features, Space bridge pillars, Medi-bay, a Prison cell for Decepticons, a rotating gun turret, and a G1-esque spring-loaded launch ramp. It features lights and sounds, and Auto-Morph transformation. The thing is though, the Cyberverse Commander and Legion figures this set is meant for are to big to fit the scale of this set.
- It comes with an exclusive Cyberverse Commander Roller, who takes the form of one of the N.E.S.T Lunar Drones.
- It has a manned turret mounted under the bridge of the ship that can disengage, swing under the hull, slide along a rail, and re-position it's self under the aft section of the Ark. This was featured in the opening sequence of Dark of the Moon, as it fired on the pursuing Decepticon ships.
- The angle of how the ship crashed on the Moon is an homage to the original Ark.
- It is unclear how long the Ark drifted through space before it finally crashed into the Moon. However, some comics depict the Ark on its float through space coming into contact with The Fallen's ship, the Nemesis, and both crippled each other. This would also explain how Fallen's ship crashed as seen in the Revenge of the Fallen.
- The position of one of the Ark's gunners in his seat is very similar to that of the Space Jockey seen in the first Alien movie. Considering that the interior of the Nemesis resembles the Alien nest seen in Aliens, this may be intentional.
- It should be noted that the Ark has no windows, just open portals. Windows are not needed as Cybertronians do not need to breath oxygen.