Resources Development Administration (RDA)
In an attempt to stave off Earth’s ecological disaster, an intergalactic mining corporation called the Resources Development Administration (RDA) colonizes Pandora, a jungle planet. The RDA is after a precious Pandoran mineral called Unobtainium, which it plans to exploit in order to fix Earth’s ecological crisis and profit-maximize. The RDA’s goal to control Unobtainium creates conflict with Pandora’s indigenous population, the Na’vi. Tall, blue-skinned, and feline, these creatures exist in spiritual harmony with nature. The RDA wants the Unobtainium, but in order to get it they must induce the Na’vi to do what they will not do of their own volition: leave their communal, ancestral land. To compel the Na’vi to get off their own land, the RDA employs a combination of persuasive and coercive power strategies. The RDA dispatches scientist-bio-ethnol-ogists to convince the Na’vi to give up their land, followed by a privatized mercenary firm called Secops (not the US military) to use brute force to gain control of the Unobtainium. The RDA initially uses persuasion to try to get the Na’vi to leave their homeland.
RDA — Resources Development Administration, the company that “plundered” minerals on Pandora, is the world’s largest consortium of business groups and the largest non-governmental organization of humans in the universe, mainly engaged in mining, transportation, pharmaceuticals, weapons and communications. With millions of shareholders, it is the oldest and largest quasi-administrative entity. It was created to search for and exploit new resources in the solar system. In the last 25 years, it has expanded to galaxies near the earth. The RDA has acquired exclusive mining rights to the Unobtanium, a precious mineral on Pandora. In the distant world of Pandora, the progress of mining directly affects RDA’s share price on earth.
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..
Unfortunately, the RDA’s environmentally harmful mining operations and the RDA SecOps’ assault on the Omaticaya Hometree led to a war between the RDA and the Na’vi that ended with the RDA being driven off Pandora; whether they will return or not is still to be seen.