Maybe this has been answered before, but I couldn't find anything:
The book states gate time is expensive and access is very limited. Yet, exploration to unknown destinations is still happening.
Why would not Pathfinder, or any other Gate Crashing enterprise, do this instead of sending exploration crews:
- Create a Rep-Rep, a replicator that has sensors, mining equipment, a manipulator, and can replicate itself.
- Rep-Rep would be sent to the first destination.
- From now on, it will indefinitely:
- Create a copy of itself
- Use its own gate to randomly dial up new locations and probe through the gate
- If destination is empty, send it's clone
- If destination has a Rep-Rep, exchange all known information.
These Rep-Reps would grow exponentially, and after relatively short time, millions of them would explore and map out the gates.
In a more extreme case, they could produce a number of cases, and upload copies of (pruned?) explorer forks to help them.