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Interstellar Colonisation before the First Federation Era
Starlark.
Image from Steve Bowers

The First Probes

The first interstellar missions were unmanned, either launched as investigative probes by the human population of the Solar System, or launched by independent artificially intelligent entities of various kinds, as a way of escaping human domination.

Ship name Affiliation Destination Colony Name Distance ly Launch year AT Arrival year AT Notes
Columbus Columbus Project Alpha Centauri Cenaurinume 4.370 221 283 Unmanned Probe
Carl Sagan Columbus Project Delta Pavonis Darwin 19.92 291 483 Unmanned Probe
Unnamed Ahuman AIs Gliese 65 8.730 310 440 No biont colonists
Unnamed Ahuman AIs GJ 3379 Charybdis 16.8 327 502 No biont colonists
Aschere Prometheus Incorporated Alpha Canis Majoris Sirius 8.600 329 415 Unmanned Probe
Unnamed Ahuman AIs Wolf 359 The Chandelier 7.860 335 450 No biont colonists
Zhang Qian Exa Energy Procyon Ako Forward Chaining 11.460 338 500 Unmanned Probe
Unnamed Solipsist League Luhman 16 16.516 342 440 No biont colonists
Pink Rabbit Ahuman AIs EZ Aquarii Red Dwarf Kings 11.1 346 571 No biont colonists
Campbell New Worlds Project Epsilon Eridani Ran 10.475 350 Failed Unmanned Probe, lost in 430
GULO Ahuman AIs EZ Aquarii Red Dwarf Kings 11.1 351 576 No biont colonists
That's Wonderful Ahuman AIs EZ Aquarii Red Dwarf Kings 11.1 353 578 No biont colonists
Unnamed Solipsist AIs Zavijava Pacifica 35.650 365 815 No biont colonists
Wallace Biotopia Beta Comae Berenices Arcadia 29.950 381 683 Unmanned transap probe
Unnamed Ahuman AIs Alpha Aquilae Altair 16.730 385 550 No biont colonists
Unnamed Ahuman AIs Gliese 229 Dustbuilders 18.8 430 700 No biont colonists
Unnamed Outbound AI Sphere Chi1 Orionis Organic Ascension Alliance 28.26 453 930 No biont colonists

Interplanetary Era Manned Missions

Throughout the early 5th century infrastructure for (biont) manned interstellar travel was invested in and slowly established. Amat farms, boostbeam stations and starshipyards gradually came together. In 465 AT the first human colonists left SolSys, several more starships were in construction at the same time allowing for relatively close launches less than a decade later. For nearly a century biont sophonts began to spread out across the galaxy.

Ship name Affiliation Destination Colony Name Distance ly Launch year AT Arrival year AT Notes
Tsiolkovsky Nova Terra Foundation Tau Ceti Nova Terra 11.905 465 588 First manned colony mission
Advance Gengineer- Martian Struve 2398 11.390 472 637 First beamrider mission
Intercessor Marian-Catholic 82 G. Eridani Terranova 19.710 478 (705) Failed to stop
Karl Schroeder CisLunar Alliance Ross 128 Sonthaya 11.030 481 642 Beamrider mission
Cygnus 1 Exa Energy 61 Cygni Trip 11.41 485 597 Project Cygnus
Swift Prudence Foundation Epsilon Indi Tierra del Fuego 11.81 488 610 Autonomous ship with no biont colonists
Kelkemesh Gengineer Republic Epsilon Eridani Ran 10.475 490 623 First of three independent missions
Evolution New Life Consortium Delta Pavonis Darwin 19.920 491 691 First mission to a planet with a biosphere
New Hope CisLunar Alliance Epsilon Eridani Ran 10.475 497 622 Second of three independent missions
Cygnus 2 Exa Energy 61 Cygni Trip 11.41 500 612 Second of five
Tianzhou 1 Heavenly Palaces Sigma Draconis Penglai 18.770 501 678 Chinese/
Genetekker mission
Carter Martian Union Epsilon Eridani Ran 10.475 504 615 First ship to arrive at Ran
Mingkwan Southeast Asia Consortium Ross 128 Sonthaya 11.030 506 617 no biont colonists
Red Tau Ceti Shuttles Tau Ceti Nova Terra 11.905 509 621 First of five, became a museum
Tianzhou 2 Heavenly Palaces Sigma Draconis Penglai 18.770 511 688 Second of five
Sure Prudence Foundation Epsilon Indi Tierra del Fuego 11.81 514 636 First colony ship to arrive, suffered cryonics failure
Cygnus 3 Exa Energy 61 Cygni Trip 11.41 515 627 Third of five
Philip K. Dick 55 Cancri Copernicus 41.066 517 933 Autonomous probe
Arkady Beta Comae Berenices Arcadia 29.950 518 808 First biont mission
Tianzhou 3 Heavenly Palaces Sigma Draconis Penglai 18.770 521 698 Third of five
Franklin New Shoot Chi1 Orionis Organic Ascension Alliance 28.26 523 826 Genetekker mission
Orange Tau Ceti Shuttles Tau Ceti Nova Terra 11.905 524 636 Second of five
Bintang Harapan 1 Indonesia Tabit Daedalus I 26.320 527 893 Second mission to reach Tabit
Cygnus 4 Exa Energy 61 Cygni Trip 11.41 530 642 failed - destroyed by micrometeoroids
Tianzhou 4 Heavenly Palaces Sigma Draconis Penglai 18.770 531 708 Fourth of five
Macoss Macoss Habitat Epsilon Eridani Ran 10.475 533 675 Habitat converted to interstellar ship
Bintang Harapan 2 Indonesia Tabit Daedalus I 26.320 537 903 Destroyed en route
Yellow Tau Ceti Shuttles Tau Ceti Nova Terra 11.905 539 651 Third of five
New World Look Outwards Combine Zavijava Pacifica 35.650 541 868 Originally New America
Walk of Omega Omegans Chi1 Orionis Organic Ascension Alliance 28.260 543 1033 Pursuit vessel
Siris Siris Foundation Barnard's Star Barnard's Belt 5.958 544 1021 Converted habitat
Cygnus 5 Exa Energy 61 Cygni Trip 11.41 545 657 Last of five
Gerald Nordley Beamrider Network Wolf 359 7.860 548 633 Discovered the Chandelier
Turing Hetero-
semiotics
Tabit Daedalus I 26.320 550 869 Arrived first
Mendel Genetekkers Psi5 Aurigae Dionysos 53.900 553 985 Longest range colony mission yet
Green Tau Ceti Shuttles Tau Ceti Nova Terra 11.905 554 666 Fourth of five
Perpetua Mure Gurupu Gliese 752A The Perpetua Project 18.720 556 936 No biont colonists
Jordin Kare Beamrider Network Ross 248 10.29 562 680 Beamrider station

The Technocalypse

When the Solar System was hit by the Technocalypse in 565 AT, only a few colony missions were able to escape the chaos. GAIA, the new Goddess of Earth, quickly assumed control of the boostbeam stations to prevent them from being used as weapons.
Ship name Affiliation Destination Colony Name Distance ly Launch year AT Arrival year AT Notes
Blue Tau Ceti Shuttles Tau Ceti Nova Terra 11.905 565 676 Launched during the Technocalypse - infected with Black Rot
Tianzhou 5 Heavenly Palaces Sigma Draconis Penglai 18.770 566 748 Recomissioned and launched just after the Technocalypse
Erwin Chargaff Genetekker Lalande 21185 New L4 8.310 568 721 Launched just after the Technocalypse without boost assist
Eostre Children of Dawn 61 Virginis Eostremonath 27.9 607 890 Launch enabled by S:1 transap

The Great Expulsion

In 621 AT, GAIA expelled almost all modosophonts from the surface of the Earth. During this period she encouraged interstellar emigration by building arkships and assisting other craft to leave the system, and a wave of refugee ships left for the stars.
.
Ship name Affiliation Destination Colony Name Distance ly Launch year AT Arrival year AT Notes
Skylark of Valeron GAIA assisted Ark Barnard's Star Barnard Belt 5.958 642 761 First of the Skylark series
Starlark GAIA assisted Ark Epsilon Indi Tierra del Fuego 11.810 645 764 Relaunched to Praxis and beyond
Guardia GAIA assisted Ark HD 4967 New Brooklyn 51.0 646 1300 Semi-
independent arkship
Fortuna GAIA Ark Tau Ceti Nova Terra 11.905 648 768 redirected to Ran
Sanderling GAIA assisted Ark Epsilon Eridani Ran 10.475 650 749 Skylark class ship
Shenlong GAIA Ark Keid Twilight 16.350 652 800 Tidally locked Gaian world
Bismilla GAIA Ark Epsilon Eridani Ran 10.475 654 744 relaunched to Ouaddai
Sopdet GAIA Ark Alpha Canis Majoris Sirius 8.600 655 698 First manned Sirius mission
Kosmos GAIA Ark Epsilon Eridani Ran 10.475 657 757
Maid GAIA assisted Ark TRAPPIST-1 Seven Marbles 40.541 660 865 Constructed by Hi'iaka Shipyard
Esperanza GAIA assisted Ark 107 Piscium Aztlan 24.4 664 876 Constructed by the Pearl Fortress island-
state
Qin Shi Huang GAIA Ark Gliese 793 Huanghua 25.950 665 920 Diverted from Penglai
Ave Deo GAIA assisted Ark Psi5 Aurigae Dionysos 53.900 667 941 Constructed by United Christian New Jerusalem Association
New Dynamic GAIA assisted Ark Gamma Pavonis Zarathustra 30.21 671 838 Constructed by Nedyne Industries
Robert Innes GAIA Ark Proxima Centauri Proxima 4.244 673 701
Mirth GAIA assisted Ark Beta Canum Venaticorum Chara 27.530 673 949 failed - transapient became unstable
Jubilee GAIA Ark Procyon 11.460 676 749 failed - entry refused
Nanyang GAIA Ark Ross 128 Sonthaya 11.030 681 737 relaunched to Gliese 783
Nightlark GAIA assisted Ark Delta Pavonis 19.920 683 failed - lost en route
Shorelark GAIA assisted Ark p Eridani 25.500 692 820 Skylark class ship
Antecanis GAIA Ark Procyon 11.460 700 807 diverted to Sirius en route
Nandi GAIA Ark Epsilon Indi 11.810 702 880 Hindi Expansion
Sandlark GAIA assisted Ark Sigma Draconis Penglai 18.770 703 failed - lost en route
Magellanica 1 South American Alliance 18 Scorpii Felicidade 45.3 705 1704 declined help from GAIA
Haephestus GAIA Ark Keid Twilight 16.350 707 789
Endurance Independent generation ship Beta Canum Venaticorum Chara 27.530 710 2795 did not decelerate
Zuma GAIA Ark Cervantes Negsoa 50.600 714 1080 South African arkship
Emissary GAIA Ark Gliese 205 MyuvYin 18.500 715 809
San Ti GAIA assisted Ark Gliese 832 Kang 021 system 16.194 716 798 constructed by FalunDafa
Beneficence GAIA assisted Ark Gamma Leporis Ao Lai 29.120 720 868 constructed by Exodus Beneficence
Magellanica 2 South American Alliance 18 Scorpii Felicidade 722 1732 declined help from GAIA
Magellanica 3 South American Alliance 18 Scorpii Felicidade 45.3 746 Failed - destroyed by micro-
meteoroids
Rabelais Genetekker Iota Horologii Frog's Head 56.510 791 1611 Launched without help from GAIA


After the Rabelais left the Solar System, no more craft were launched into interstellar space (apart from a few Hider craft that migrated outwards via the Oort cloud) until the end of the Dark Age. The next ship to leave the system was the Dyaushpitr bound for Eta Cassiopeia, at the start of the Federation Era.


Drive Sail
Image from Steve Bowers
Two boostbeams focus on a drive sail as it assists a colony ship out of the Solar System
 
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Development Notes
Text by The Astronomer, Ryan B (Rynn), Steve Bowers
Initially published on 21 November 2019.


 
 
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