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The USS Nostromo encountered Xenomorphs on LV-426 in the year 2122. Furthermore, Xenomorphs remained on that moon during the founding of Hadley's Hope colony in 2157. By that time, surely the Xenomorphs would have killed the humans in that colony. Fast-forward 22 years in the future to 2179, and there were still people living in Hadley's Hope on LV-426. So, how was LV-426 able to be colonized by humans in 2157? And how was that human colony able to survive so long there without being killed off by Xenomorphs in the 22 years between 2157 and 2179?

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    I’m not sure if the existing answer is clear about this: you have a major misconception in your question. There were no adult xenomorphs or chestbursters on LV-426 during the time between Alien and Aliens. The only thing there was the derelict spacecraft containing the dormant eggs. Until Burke sent the colonists to the specific location of the derelict ship to investigate, there was no real xenomorph population on LV-426. Also the crew of the Nostromo only encountered eggs, not any adult xenomorphs. Aug 6, 2023 at 18:45
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    You've seen the full movie, right? Aliens Special Edition 1986 - ''Newt´s Parents find the Space Jockey´s Ship'' - volume warning! "We've lost contact with the colony on LV426" happens after that, and because of that.
    – Mazura
    Aug 6, 2023 at 19:37

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The Xenomorphs simply weren't rediscovered yet.

The colony was established in the 2150s, long after the crew of the Nostromo first visited the planet in 2122. At the time, the exact location of the derelict spacecraft containing the xenomorph eggs was unknown to the Weyland-Yutani company and the colonists, since the beacon that had drawn the Nostromo there to begin with was shut off on a later visit by the ship Anesidora in 2137 (depicted in supplementary gameplay from Alien: Isolation).

It wasn't until after Ripley was found and brought back to Earth, and she was interrogated by the Company, that the exact coordinates of the ship were revealed. Since the weather and environment on Acheron/LV-426 were extremely inhospitable to the human colonists, going out of the colony was a relatively rare undertaking and there would have been no particular reason to head out in the direction of the ship if it was so dangerous for the exploration crews. After Ripley's interrogation, Carter Burke sent the coordinates to the colonists and had them send out a survey team consisting of Newt's parents (and Newt and her brother). Since those were the first people to breach the derelict in years and more colonists followed them in checking out the Derelict, there simply hadn't been any xeno hosts until the colonists were lured in by the Company.

(Much of this comes from the novel Alien: River of Pain, which details how the colony first (re)discovered the Derelict and how their initial contacts with the xenomorphs went.)

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    A lot of that can also be seen in the extended version of the movie. Aug 6, 2023 at 9:01
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    @FrankRendar Except the aliens were not reproducing, and had not multiplied. They cannot without hosts. There were instead some immobile eggs waiting for suitable hosts to stumble across them, for many years. Aug 6, 2023 at 13:59
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    @FabiosaysReinstateMonica How exactly Queen eggs happen is still kinda... vague across all the Alien media. Sometimes it's that there are specific Queen eggs; sometimes it's that regular eggs are somehow transformed or "fertilized" into Queen eggs; sometimes it's that regular drones have an accelerated transformation into a Queen and then start making eggs (including other Queen eggs). According to Xenopedia, citing James Cameron himself, one of the earliest Xenos to hatch from a colonist host "grew into the Queen". Aug 7, 2023 at 6:00
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    @FrankRendar; Consider, too, that Mars is only 1/6th the size of Earth, but has almost half the land surface area. Imagine having to search through Eurasia to find one ship in a rather obscuring atmosphere. Needle-in-a-haystack would apply, I think.
    – JohnHunt
    Aug 7, 2023 at 10:07
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    @JohnHunt Alternatively, the moon is around 25% of the size of Earth and we've barely explored around 5% of that. The entire Apollo 11 mission space can fit inside a soccer field, IIRC. Aug 7, 2023 at 22:36

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