Operation Exodus is a contingency plan for the complete evacuation of Moonbase Alpha, including all equipment which can be removed within the timeframe of the operation.
The plan consists of three phases;
- Phase One is an aerial probe.
- Phase Two is a landing party, which should take 20 hours.
- Phase Three is the total evacuation of Alpha, which requires a minimum of 48 hours.
Exodus is referred to in Breakaway (also called "contingency plan Exodus"), Matter of Life and Death (also called "project Exodus"), Another Time, Another Place, Guardian of Piri, War Games and The Testament of Arkadia.
Operation Exodus becomes the Evacuation Procedure in Year Two, used in Brian the Brain, The AB Chrysalis (a partial evacuation occurring in one and a half minutes) and The Seance Spectre (in the last it takes just five and a half hours). Operation Exodus is used in Message From Moonbase Alpha when the Alphans abandon the Moonbase for Terra Alpha.
- Operation Exodus appears to be the formal name, but many terminology variants exist, and in some cases is referred to as 'evacuation.'
- The plan existed prior to Breakaway, as a "contingency plan" in case of disaster.
- Immediately after Breakaway, the plan is brought up for evaluation, but Breakaway has introduced new variables, and expected factors are all void. It seems Operation Exodus had a root assumption that in any considered disaster, the Moon would still be in orbit.
- Due to inability to compute a safe return to Earth as the Moon leaves range, leaves it unlikely anyone would survive the attempt, and Commander Koenig decides they should remain on Alpha.
- Though not shown (?), the plan is clearly modified at a later point after Breakaway to take into account the Moon's unusual movement through space.
- The plan is later strongly considered or put into action on several occasions, either under that name or by implication of other orders.
- Early on (at least), the plan is heavily computer-directed. So much so that at Piri, the Guardian took over Main Computer and directed the whole operation (the people also being under the influence of the Guardian by that point).
The plan may have been partly inspired by the Allied Second World War operation of the same name, initiated to repatriate Allied prisoners of war (POW)s from Europe to Britain in the closing stages of the conflict.