December 27, 2016 | Corps of Discovery: Mission 3

Welcome to the Corps of Discovery!



I Introduction


II Welcome to the Corps of Discovery

The physical and the metaphysical, the lines between fact and fiction, what is known and unknown—that is where you will find the COD. This patch represents out commitment to the three E's: Explore, Engage, Entertain. We promise to see new things, make connections, and tell our story. This is the heart of the COD.

  1. The golden band surrounding the logo represents our promise to adhere to the values of the COD.
  2. The surreal pyramids our interest in the metaphysical.
  3. The mountains, lake, and tree exhibit our appreciation and connection to the physical, terrestrial and otherwise.
  4. The connection between the alien and human hand is the promise to engage with those both known and unknown.
  5. The camcorder is a symbol for our vow to entertain.
  6. The light and dark, day and night, yin and yang represent our commitment to maintaining a just and unbiased representation of our project.

Yonder enthusiastically accepts this commission and we will strive to meet and exceed the expectations of NASA, our Nation, the World, and future generations who will one day look back at this as the first step towards realizing a new perspective on the universe, one full of heretofore unseen possibilities and experiences.


Listen to the COD Anthem!

As mandated by NASA’s commission, Yonder is prepared to lead the re-deployment of the Corps of Discovery (COD), and if we achieve even a modicum of the success our predecessors had in their endeavors, then we will count our mission successful. Echoing the core spirit of the original Corps, Yonder has updated the essential values of our project, and boiled them down to three key ideas:


  1. Explore. We take it upon ourselves to sally forth into unknown and uncharted lands, worlds, cultures, and spheres with the express goals of observing and recording our experience therein.
  2. Engage. Interaction, comprehension, and compassion will be our guiding principles when engaging newly discovered cultures and societies—all while we maintain a vision and voice that activates the interest of our terrestrial peers.
  3. Entertain. In order to effect a comprehensive shift towards the mission and ideals of the COD, Yonder understands that entertainment is essential to activating and compelling the interest of our peers. There is no doubt that a focus on generating entertainment-focused media will best serve the dissemination and comprehension of our mission focus.


Introductory Briefs for the Three Missions Initiated After the Re-Establishment of the Corps of Discovery


  • M1 – Lewis and Clark, an Audit [2016–2017]: To wholly assimilate the zeitgeist of the Lewis and Clark spirit, Yonder sets out to retrace the path of the original COD in reverse, from Astoria to St. Louis. We will rely on word-of-mouth information, depend on the nuanced specifics of local knowledge, and use our own curiosity to guide and influence our progress. Fundamental to our locomotion is the understanding that in the original mission transportation via waterways was of vital importance. Consequently Yonder’s path will float or follow these liquid highways throughout our adventure, and our equipment selection will echo this choice.
  • M2 –Alpha Proxima [2018]: While still in the initial planning stages, the COD has been tapped to spearhead the creation and development of the systems, devices, and personnel strategies that will take the COD to the Earth’s closest neighboring star with a viable Earth-like exoplanet: Alpha Proxima. Once there we intend interact with the planet’s inhabitants, using the 3E’s of the COD—explore, engage, and entertain—as the foundation of our communication.
  • M3 – IALCVP [2020]: Our first extraterrestrial mission will be to the Moon. As stated above, NASA has a great interest in increasing interest in the moon and its recreational possibilities. The details of this mission are outlined below.

III Welcome to the International Alphonsus Lunar Celestial Vortex Park

Any mission worth its salt has a mission patch. And the IACLVP is definitely worth its salt. This patch functions as a symbol and road map to the ideals ingrained in the IACLVP.

  1. The golden ring re-enforces our promise to adhere to the values of the COD.
  2. The shield indicates that we will protect the lunar environment as well as the recreational rights of each lunar visitor.
  3. The stars represent the dreams and musings of humankind. Without them we would be lost.
  4. The Sun and Earth are the binary supporters of life.
  5. The Moonjammer is both our primary lunar vehicle and a representation of our commitment to human powered transport.
  6. The Lunar Surface; this is actually a accurate representation of the lunar surface in the Alphonsus crater where the ground will be broken for the IACLPV Welcome Center.

Yonder has long been fascinated with the Moon; its rough and barren terrain, minimal gravity, and celestial solitude manifest an unquenchable desire to explore. It is reassuring to see that a synergy of thought has begun to coalesce around lunar exploration and investigation. What for many had long been viewed as a pipe dream is becoming an actuality. In eager anticipation of the 2020 launch, Yonder has reached out to our most esteemed contractors and contributors in order to immediately begin preparations for this expedition.


The gravity of this expedition is not to be taken lightly and we have activated our best resources and contractors to develop the itinerary, equipment, and resources essential to successfully completing our mission. While most of these are still in the early stages of development, they nonetheless show that development is well underway for our most audacious project yet.

IV Proposed IALCVP

  • A – IALCVP Welcome Center and Day Hike Areas: This will be the main lodge component of the IALCVP as well as the transit center for visitors arriving and leaving the moon. Will include curated accommodations and a wide selection of dining options at various levels of affordability and comfort. Just a quick rocket shuttle from the Welcome Center, the day hiking area is perfect for families, friends, and hikers interested in seeing what the IALCVP has to offer without getting too far away from the creature comforts of the Welcome Center. Take in stunning views of Earth and the majestic walls of the carter with the ones you love.
  • B – Solitude Exploration Zone: For visitors in need of some solo time on the Moon we’ve created the Solitude Exploration Zone. A strict visitor quota will be in effect in this region to ensure that you can enjoy the stark and haunting beauty of being alone on the Moon!
  • C – Obsidian Lake and Lunar Plains: In this region the IALCVP will maintain strict surveillance on the usage of non-celestial light so that visitors can revel in the full experience of the lunar night while gliding across the depthless and majestic Obsidian Lake.
  • D – Rugged Terrain and Adventure Park: Located on the steep and treacherous NW walls of the carter, the RTAP speaks to those looking to take advantage of the Moon’s limited gravity. Ski, snowboard, and mountain bike runs, crater parkour and team-building courses, bungee jumping, and Moon bounding zones are set up within this area for those who think taking it too the limit means more than just setting foot on the Moon.

V Conceptual Renderings of Moon-Based Activities
Art by Ron Miller.

The solitude of the lunar landscape will no doubt be one of the Moon's most enticing features, and the creation of the IALCVP will establish a robust network of outlying trails that will allow visitors to find themselves "alone on the Moon" while maintaining a strict border to insure that vast swaths of the Moon will remain in pristine condition for eons to come.
Lunar night and day is binary. As one of our preeminent advisors noted, "Have you ever dreamed of spending your days wandering through a Caravaggio painting while the Earth rotates in the celestial distance, its blues, greens, browns and whites pregnant with possibilities you could never have recognized while standing on its surface? That's what the IALCVP is all about. And that's just the tip of the crater."
Of course, motorized travel isn't the only way to get around the IALCVP. Hikes of different lengths have been mapped throughout the park and rocket trams will be in place to quickly and efficiently shuttle visitors around the park.
The Moon's minimal gravity will allow thrill seekers the chance to completely redefine the limits of their terrestrial-based sports. The IALCVP will offer visitors bungee jumping, skiing and snowboarding runs, mountain bike trails, impact crater parkour, and much more. At this point we're accounting and creating resources for sports that already exist on Earth, but the IALCVP has statutes in place to assimilate activities of strictly lunar origin.
There is no doubt that skating on the Alphonsus Crater obsidian lake will be a popular pursuit. Imagine that the sun has set and the Milky Way is reflected in the liquid black depths of the huge obsidian expanse. Your suit is equipped with glass skates that allow you to skim across the obsidian surface without effort. As you push across the faultless expanses it feel as if you are skating on a window that separates two universes; as if you're gracefully skimming the thin roof of infinity.

VI Corps of Discovery Lunar Bicycle
The primary vehicle for the initial survey of the IALCVP, designed by Erik Nohlin.


VII Corps of Discovery Space Suit
Functional and stylish for next generation of lunar explorer, designed by Erika Howrey Giarrizzo.


VIII Credits

Cinematography – Greg Schmitt


Editing – Zach Jones


Original Music Composition & Performance – Christian Blunda & Ryan Oxford


Original Song – Dan Pasley


Lunar Concept Drawings – Ron Miller


Moonjammer 3D Art – Erik Nohlin


COD Lunar Suit Concept – Erika Howrey Giarrizzo

Governmental Partners
Commercial Partners