Alliance Grand Survey

The Alliance Grand Surveys (also known as Grand Surveys) were star system surveys conducted by the Terran Alliance in the late twenty-second and early twenty-third centuries.


In the midst of the First Exodus in the 2140s, many systems farther than one hyperjump away from Earth were beginning to be colonized. In the tradition of the star system survey conducted by the TAS Pathfinder (in the opening years of the twenty-second century), the Alliance Grand Surveys were missions conducted to record the extent of colonization. These missions catalogued a remarkable rate of expansion. More than 100 colonies had been founded within 40 light-years of Terra by the time of the first Grand Survey. This is quite remarkable considering TAS Pathfinder had only conducted the first manned faster-than-light test only 64 years earlier (in 2108), and New Earth had only been settled in 2116).

Some colonists speculated that the surveys were a thinly-veiled attempt to show Alliance authority and were not interested in population numbers at all. As if to back up that speculation, basic statistics were published but the actual population numbers were never revealed to the public.

It is extremely likely that these missions were under the control of the Terran Space Navy but that remains unconfirmed.

The tremendous rate of colonization led the Terran Alliance to look inward, questioning whether to spend its resources on colonizing (and governing) the stars or to stamp out poverty and hunger on the homeworld.[1]

Survey Results[edit]

Terran Alliance Territory in 2235

First Alliance Grand Survey[edit]

The First Grand Survey started in 2168[2] and ended in 2172[3][1][2][4][5][6]. It cataloged an estimated 112[5] colonized worlds spread over an eighty light-year diameter (40 light-year radius).[1][4][5][7]

Second Alliance Grand Survey[edit]

The Second Grand Survey of 2199[5] cataloged 395 colonized worlds spread over a ninety light-year radius.[5]

Third Alliance Grand Survey[edit]

The Third Grand Survey of 2216 cataloged 461 colonized worlds in a one hundred light-year radius.[5]

Fourth Alliance Grand Survey[edit]

The Fourth Grand Survey of 2235 cataloged 619 colonized worlds in a one hundred and twenty light-year radius.[5][3][6][7]

Fifth Alliance Grand Survey[edit]

The Fifth Grand Survey took place in 2389 and charted regions also of the periphery.[8]

TAS Pathfinder Survey (Comparison)[edit]

The TAS Pathfinder surveyed thirty-five star systems with fifty inhabitable worlds over a forty-light year radius.


  • Alternative Dates and number of colonies found for the Grand Surveys are:


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 House Davion (The Federated Suns), pp. 7-8
  2. 2.0 2.1 Handbook: House Marik, p. 12, 17
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Star League, p. 8
  4. 4.0 4.1 House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 15
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Historical: Reunification War, p. 13, "A Continuation Of Politics"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Handbook: House Marik, p. 17, "Timeline: Ancient History"
  7. 7.0 7.1 MechWarrior: The BattleTech Role Playing Game, p. 4 "EXODUS (2102 - 2313)"
  8. Historical: Reunification War p.21
  9. Handbook: House Marik, p. 12, "To the Stars"