"She was a Betan Astronomical Survey commander, for God's sake! Do you have any idea how those people are chosen, what they do? If I'd completed my postgraduate work with honors, instead of all that stupid misunderstanding with the arrest, I could have hoped, only hoped, to put in an application, and even then I wouldn't have a prayer of beating out all the Betan candidates, if it weren't for their off-worlder quotas holding some open places specifically for non-Betans."
―Enrique Borgos on Cordelia Naismith[src]
The Betan Astronomical Survey (BAY-tahn) was a highly prestigious scientific space exploration branch of Beta Colony whose primary purpose was to explore new worlds and perform tests in all scientific fields. Its organization and status were paramilitary in nature, having a rank system similar to Navy's one. The members wore rank insignia and khaki uniforms, though their devotion to military discipline was often questionable.

They routinely performed dangerous "blind jumps" to unknown, potentially lethal, destinations; in return, they received a salary and pension. The question of whether they were saner or crazier than "wormhole wildcatters" who performed the same jumps in hopes of a staggering fortune was considered difficult to resolve.

The head of the Survey was called the Surveyor General.

Known members of the SurveyEdit


Many books in the Vorkosigan Saga mention the Astronomical Survey. The best ones are:

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