In a space research facility, scientists Alex, Blake, Casey, and Dylan need to transfer delicate samples from one lab to another through a narrow airlock. The airlock can only sustain the life-support systems of two scientists at a time. Due to a power failure, they must use a single battery-powered lantern to see. Without the lantern, the airlock is pitch dark and impossible to navigate.
The scientists have different expertise levels:
Alex, an experienced astronaut, can cross in 1 minute. Blake, a space engineer, takes 2 minutes. Casey, a geologist not familiar with space gear, takes 5 minutes. Dylan, a biologist with some equipment, takes 10 minutes.
Alex, with his experience from space missions, quickly devises a plan to get everyone through the airlock in just 17 minutes. What's his plan?