Ranger 1, along with Ranger 2 were the last components to dock with the Endurance in Earth orbit. It was boosted into orbit on a multistage rocket, carrying astronauts Brand, pilot Cooper, Doyle, and Romilly along with the robot TARS acting as Cooper's co-pilot. It also carried Ranger 2, which was attached to its ventral docking port until docking with the Endurance.
Cooper, Brand, Doyle, and CASE first took Ranger 1 down to the surface of planet Miller to rescue Dr. Laura Miller and evaluate the planet for the potential site of a colony. Ranger 1 barely avoided being destroyed by a massive tidal wave, but managed to escape the planet. Due to the planet's close proximity to Gargantua, anyone near or on the surface will experience a time dilation ratio of more than 60,000:1 compared to the outside universe. In the time it took to travel down to the planet and return to the Endurance, twenty-three years had passed.
The next destination was planet Mann, where the crew awakened Dr. Mann. Later he stole Ranger 1 with the intent to take command of the Endurance and set a course to Edmunds' planet to initiate the population bomb. However, he failed to dock the Ranger with the Endurance properly. Once he opened the hatch, the resulting explosive decompression threw him against the hatch, killing him instantly. Ranger 1 was destroyed when it crashed into a propulsion module of the Endurance.