FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

With expansion into interstellar space, the various initial colonial powers provided a wealth of funding and support for interstellar surveys to build on the work of prior telescope and sublight robotic probes, along with some initial manned military missions.

One of the most notable during the 2160s and 2170s is the NASA supported surveying mission about USS Buzz Aldrin, a deriative of the Washington class used for exploratory surveys.

It’s planned missions over 15 years involved charting all star systems within 50 light years of Earth. To achieve this, it uses a lot of remote probes and AI technology that is deployed into each surveyed system along with a central processing AI hub, and returns a few years later to collect data.

A contingenct of around 300 scientists work onboard Buzz Aldrin, and the survey mission from 2161 to 2176 are all headed by Doctor Anthony Huyer and Professor Roger Walker - both of whom the survey missions are named after.

The mission regularly resupplies both in the Solar System and American miltary bases supported by the two colonies established (Arcturus and Arlington). During these resupplies it regularly dumps its data for astronavigation chart updates and further scientific study of dat gathered. The resupply missions also involve the restocking of the many probes that are used in each stellar system.

These probes leave a residual build up of active remote sensing systems in each system, and most are expected to have an active lifespan of 40 years or more from their deployment date (except landers and re-entry probes).

During the process of the surveys, the cataloguing system used is a bit haphazard. Data with the HW prefix denotes the survey, while the next 2 letters signify the survey quadrant - such as SQ for Serpenti Quadrant. The next numerical digt sequence is an object catalog reference with a system id after the dash. Boith these numbers don’t have an immediate relationship and are just id numbers associated with a relational database of the survey’s master filing database on Earth.

Identifying related worlds or even moons of a world aren’t possible with this filing system - generally considered a major flaw with the repository design.

Fortunately other analysis groups are makign attempts to refile the data in a better taxonomy for use that is being used to update shipboard astrographic records. However it is adding about an extra 5% to the budget for the survey, leaving NASA a PR battle with the media and university interests over the cataloguing issues.

In the meantime both Huyer and Walker and their respective teams onboard the mission ship have received many accolades for their pathfinding mission that has enriched the world of astronomy, astrophysics, planetology, astrobiology and cosmology in general.

Selene Mining who helped fund part of this mission has experienced increased shareholder confidence and growing share prices through the mineral findings and subsequent mining outposts founded as a result of data from the mission - even given its data filing issues.

This mission has also lessened initial survey costs for various NATO allies and allowed them to concentrate on more detailed surveys of specific colonial sites - part of the reason the next generation of colonies to be established in the 2170s is set to explode compared to the initial ones.

The early successes of this survey has prompted NASA, USAN and some allies to retask USS Neil Armstrong (a similar vessel to USS Buzz Aldrin) for a more deep range survey mission out for hundreds of light years - if not further.

Other nations have also been inspired by this mission and expect in future to mount similar missions as the sphere of Terran exploration expands and more participants are needed.

Categories: Terran Colonies

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