So it’s official. It’s taken 6months, what with the various delays and system errors caused by the necessary repairs that an extended flight demands, plus recuperation time, survey time, not to mention the day and a half spent sat on the dark side of a gas giant whilst waiting for it to hit the optimal angle to slingshot round back towards its host star to scoop up some much needed fuel.
Nav comp puts the distance to Alioth at around 42,000ly, and the overall distance travelled to date is closer to 3 times as much. Across those light years I’ve jumped between many thousands of systems. Within those systems I’ve scanned many more stars, 10’s of thousands of planets, hundreds of thousands of moons, and an incalculable number of asteroids and smaller objects.
Today I’ve completed travelling one quarter of the circumference of the galaxy. Barring some incredible leap in our understanding or technology, I’ve skirted the borders of the only space humanity will ever know, charted, catalogued and compiled to add to the sum of our entire species knowledge. Im not the first to travel such distances, not even in the same region, but I know that I’m the first to see many of the systems i’ve visited, and statistically speaking, I’ll probably be the last human to visit a number of them too.
The system I’ve chosen to celebrate this milestone is nothing special. It has no planets or moons, no asteroids or comments, just a single, ruby red star. From here I look out into the cosmos and allow myself to take in the absolute enormity of the universe about us, and how small a place we currently occupy within it.