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Axiom's (and the other cruise spacecrafts') function was to safeguard humanity for generations as it cruised through space until the EVE probes returned promising results from Earth.

According to the wiki page, the Axiom is located in the Kuiper belt.

That's too far away from Earth! Why didn't it just orbit Earth? Maybe there was too much debris in Earth's orbit. Well then, it could orbit Mars or something like that. Why go all the way to the Kuiper belt?

This way, the Axiom can more easily monitor Earth's status and whatnot.

  • weren't they looking for/hoping to happen upon a new habitable planet? returning to earth was just a backup plan, (right?) – RedCaio Feb 14 '16 at 6:43
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    @RedCaio Axiom could use EVE probes to look for new homes too. There's no need for it itself to travel away from Earth. – Voldemort Feb 14 '16 at 6:57
  • Presence of exploitable water? Or, perhaps they didn't reside there, but only happened to be on that part of their tour circuit when things went down? – Politank-Z Feb 14 '16 at 7:05
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The video short "Captaining the Axiom" describes the Kuiper Belt as the Axiom's destination as a cruise liner.

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When the ship moves over to survival mode under Operation Recolonize, they evidently kept to their original outbound itinerary, but just never came back.

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