There are seventeen crew members aboard the
. It is one of the largest, most expensive scientific explorations of the deep reaches of space that has ever been launched.
Every pound of equipment, gear, and rations has been scrutinized for maximum efficiency, in order to save fuel.
Motion in space may be unimpeded by friction, but
still needs its thrusters to maneuver around stellar and planetary gravitational wells.
There are also the myriad systems—life support, communications, science labs, and so on—that must have fuel to function.
Two and a half years of travel, even at minimal energy levels, still consumes hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel.
Therefore, all crew members—save for Meredith Vickers, of course—had a strict limit of one bag of personal items weighing only twenty kilos.
This requirement caused much grumbling during embarkation, as some crew had to toss out belongings that exceeded weight capacity.
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