Resources Development Administration (RDA)
The Resources Development Administration (RDA) is a powerful and profit-oriented mega-corporation in the Avatar universe. The RDA is depicted as a powerful and profit-driven organization that is heavily involved in mining and exploiting the resources of the fictional moon Pandora, which orbits the gas giant planet Polyphemus in the Alpha Centauri star system.
The RDA’s primary interest on the moon Pandora is the mining of the valuable mineral “unobtainium,” which is crucial for Earth’s energy needs. The RDA maintains a significant military presence on Pandora to protect its interests and secure its mining operations. This includes the use of advanced technology such as AMP suits (Amplified Mobility Platform) and powerful military-grade aircraft.
To support its mining operations, the RDA establishes a human colony called “Hell’s Gate” on Pandora. This base serves as the headquarters for the RDA’s activities and as a hub for humans working on the moon. The corporation constructs various infrastructure, including buildings, equipment, and transport systems, to facilitate its resource extraction efforts.
Excavation has been carried out with standard fusion-electric powered mining equipment modified with sealed operator cockpits and atmosphere filtration units. A typical mining cycle involves placing chemical charges above an ore deposit using satellite-positioned drill trucks, detonating the charges to loosen the overburden, then removing the overburden with excavators, robodozers, and dump trucks. After the ore has been exposed it is carefully removed with excavators and trucks; if the ore is pure enough to spontaneously levitate special belt diggers feeding into covered trucks are used instead.
The company’s early expeditions to Pandora were seen as a colossal risk; the construction of the ISV Venture Star alone put an enormous strain on capital resources. But with exclusive mining rights to Unobtanium ($20 million per kilogram raw and $40 million processed), and potential profits from countervirals, biofuels, and cosmetics, the enormous capital investment has paid off.
In the RDA’s laboratory, human and Na’vi DNA is spliced together to create half-human, half-Na’vi hybrid beings: Avatars. These giant life-size synthetic bodies look like Na’vi, but lack their own consciousness. Using complex neuro-connectors, RDA-employed humans control these Avatar bodies at a distance, from within pods.
Plugged in to their Avatars, RDA personnel are visually and experientially immersed in Pandora’s jungles as Avatar Na’vi. They communicate with and study the Na’vi population without ever putting their own bodies at risk of physical harm. The RDA’s Avatar Na’vi to actual Na’vi persuasion campaign, however, proves ineffective. With the exception of the Avatar Na’vi operated by Dr. Grace Augustine, all Avatar Na’vi are expelled from the Na’vi community due to their cultural ignorance.
The RDA’s resource extraction methods and disregard for environmental conservation contribute to significant ecological damage on Pandora. The destruction of forests, disruption of ecosystems, and pollution caused by the RDA’s activities are depicted as detrimental to Pandora’s unique and delicate environment. The corporation’s aggressive approach and disregard for the Na’vi’s cultural values and way of life lead to tensions and ultimately a confrontation between the two groups.