100 Water Worlds Initiative, Day Seven: New Space Ahead

  • Newly Discovered Water Worlds: 20
  • Virgin Systems Fully Explored: 10

Zheng He and I are still trekking towards Scutum-Centaurus. Every jump now takes me farther from settled space. At the end of the day I was 2500 light-years out of Hilary, and over 4,000 light-years from Sol.

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It was a long day of jumping and scooping, and I’m still not yet where I want to be. But on the way I found a lot. A double Water World system, and then another big multiple-star system with no less than three Water Worlds. And later, and Earthlike.

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A few scattered other Water Worlds were found along the route. I also found my first Ammonia World on this trip; I’m not sure I have the knack for spotting them yet. This one had a set of rings and seas of liquid hydrocarbons.

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For a day of jumping 2500 light-years, I did very well: the current Water Worlds tally stands at 20. I didn’t do much additional scouting, so I didn’t fully explore any new systems, save for a few that only had a couple of bodies in them. But things are really moving now.

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100 Water Worlds Initiative, Day Six: A New Trajectory

  • Newly Discovered Water Worlds: 10
  • Virgin Systems Fully Explored: 10

The day was mostly consumed by heading outward from Hilary Depot. I took, more or less, a straight shot out to Antispinward, driving just away from the inhabited bubble. Needless to say I kept my eyes open for any interesting worlds.

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Mostly, though, the region around the refueling route to Colonia is pretty thoroughly picked over. I did find a new interesting sights, but only two Water Worlds, both of them previously charted.

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I stopped for the day about halfway to my goal; I’m aiming to go further out than ever before on this run. Not all the way to the Core this time around… but I want to hit the next spiral arm in from Sol this time. That’s Scutum-Centaurus, according to my possibly-outdated charts.

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100 Water Worlds Initiative, Day Five: The Pitstop

  • Newly Discovered Water Worlds: 10
  • Virgin Systems Fully Explored: 9

The trip in to Hilary Depot was close to 900 light-years. So of course I explored as I went. It’s a good thing, too. I camE across a system. Not a new system; someone had buzzed through and scanned the primary but ignored the orbiting bodies. Co-orbiting with a small gas giant I found an Earthlike with metal-rich rings. A literal jackpot, and quite a sight.

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Hilary Depot is named, of course, for a legendary explorer of old Earth, who climbed Mount Olympus with his faithful Grizzly Bear, Ben. I remember seeing a holofilm about him when I was a kid.

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Another fifty light-years or so later, I found another Earthlike. I am counting these towards my 100, of course. They are quite rare, though perhaps not so rare as Ammonia Worlds… of which I have found none so far on this expedition.

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And then the Pitstop at Hilary. Some clown tried to interdict me on the way in, but eluding him wasn’t much trouble. I increased by previous record of max distance from home, and my data was worth close to 6 million credits. Word is, by the way, that Lakon is making some upgrades to the Diamondback Explorer some time soon, shedding some weight but still putting in an extra internal slot. It’ll be nice to have.

100 Water Worlds Initiative, Day Four: The Neutron Highway

  • Newly Discovered Water Worlds: 6
  • Virgin Systems Fully Explored: 5

Another poor starting day. But I did find a handful of Neutron Stars, clustered within 50 light-years or so of each other. All had already been discovered, but their jets allow you to “supercharge” your FSD for a one-time long-distance jump that’s roughly three times the normal maximum distance.

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This kickstart, while I’m skipping over potentially promising systems, saves me time; getting me out to virgin space quicker.

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Now I’m going to hop back in to Hilary Depot for a quick repair and data dump. Then back out in a slightly different direction.

100 Water Worlds Initiative, Day Three: Expanding the Mini-Bubble

  • Newly Discovered Water Worlds: 6
  • Virgin Systems Fully Explored: 5

 

The day began inauspiciously, with a string of empty or otherwise barren systems that I elected not to explore fully. Sticking to my current area of exploration the pickings had slimmed considerably.

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But not all was wasted; I explored a number of new systems, many not fully. And in one I found an earth-mass Water World orbiting a larger Water World. Not quite twins, but close.

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I will now drive my efforts along a single axis of exploration for the next day or two.

100 Water Worlds Initiative, Day Two: First Findings

  • Newly Discovered Water Worlds: 4
  • Virgin Systems Fully Explored: 4

 
Now we’re talking. New Water Worlds have been found, four in all. Two of them in one system. And I found some terraformable planets as well. The mission is actually happening now.

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The most interesting discovery was a Water Moon, in orbit around a Terraformable High Metal Content world. I’ve named the metal world Batman and its ocean moon Robin. I’m sure Universal Cartographics won’t agree.

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I have explored four completely uncharted systems so far. I’m enjoying the pace of it even though it means flying a long way between widely dispersed bodies sometimes.

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I have not set a “destination.” I am just making short hops from star to star, exploring the area as I go. As this is probably 98% unexplored space this tactic is working out well.

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It’s possible that I will come back out here someday, maybe to explore the entire sector. It’s a thought — there are other places I want to go, after all. Right now this place is all mine.

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100 Water Worlds Initiative, Day One: The Journey Out

  • Newly Discovered Water Worlds: 0
  • Virgin Systems Fully Explored: 0

I tried to get footage of Zheng He leaving Unity Station, but the external camera was on the fritz at the time. Took me a bit of time and a couple of Neutron Star-boosted jumps to hit unexplored space out past New Yembo, but I’m there now.

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I did scan some Water Worlds on the way out, of course. But probably the most interesting thing I found was a Gas Giant hosting ammonia-based life.

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I’m taking time to explore each system in detail out here. I do know I’m not the first to pass through these parts, but it’s pretty clear that no dedicated explorers have been here.

Good for today. Let’s see what tomorrow brings now that I’m in uncharted space.