Pirate boarding pods are crude, even by their standards. They are composed of an aged propulsion drive, a cramped crew-transport module, and a nose cone packed with high explosives. The pilot guides the pod toward the target ship, then rams it, detonating the explosives upon impact in an attempt to breach the hull. If a breach is created, the crew within exits the pod.
Of course, mishaps occur. Sometimes the explosives go off prematurely, exposing the crew to vacuum. Other times the detonation fails to occur, leaving the pod to bounce off the target's hull. The shielding between explosives and crew is substandard, and often fails to protect the crew from the explosion. The pod's nickname of "Space Coffin" is well earned.