The holographic displays lights up the dark interior of my cockpit with an orange glow. The landing dock my ship is attached to begins to slide forward as a hatch slides away overhead. I can see other ships passing overhead inside the space station. Ships of all shapes and sizes. They put my tiny little Sidewinder to shame, but I am not deterred. I am ready to get on with it already. The landing pad comes to a sudden stop, then begins lifting my ship to the interior surface of the station. I can see a slit at the far end of the station that leads out to the inky blackness of space. That is where I need to go.
I feel the ship release from the landing pad and a timer pops up on my display. My ship begins to float slightly to the left just as the station Air Traffic Controller comes in through the speakers in my helmet. I am informed I have five minutes to clear the airspace inside the station or face a fine. Eyeing the controls for one last time everything seems simple enough. Left hand on the throttle, right had on the control stick… I give the stick a little nudge to even the ship back out. Turned out a little was too much and I over compensate in the other direction. I now hear metal on metal coming from the rear of my new ship as a klaxon goes off in my ear. My display has red warning flashing in every corner. My shield is weak and was broken instantly from the impact. I throttle up just a little in an attempt to nose up the ship.
The ship lurches and jumps from the landing pad into the open air. I back off of the throttle but the momentum is still carrying my through the space station. I try to level off and center my flight path but I just end up barrel rolling through the station, impacting the other side in a fiery explosion.
This was my first experience with Elite Dangerous a few years ago. I repeated those same steps a few more times before turning the game off and wondering if I had just blown my money on a game I couldn’t even play. ED is unforgiving, much like space in real life. Mistakes in ED are easy to make, and the penalty for making them is almost always death. I had to die many times before I ever figured out enough of this game to do anything fun or productive. It literally took me years of stop and go play before I finally got myself into a position to really explore anything outside of what is known as “The Bubble”(Human controlled space).
Here I am now, on my way out to the core of the Galaxy! I’ve always wanted to make this journey as an explorer in ED, and to be honest, I have had the capabilities to do this for about a year now. The only thing I lacked was the confidence to get on with it… and monetary motivation. Truth is, I found a passenger willing to pay my 30 Million credits to take him near the core of the galaxy and back. My time frame for this mission is 4 weeks in real life. Now that I have decided to go, I also decided to document my journey for your reading and viewing pleasure.
To begin, I am flying a stripped down ASP Explorer with heavy modifications making it possible for me to jump up to 42 Light Years in a single jump. I am scanning each system as I arrive and looking for anything rare or unique along the way that may warrant further investigation. Primarily I’m on the lookout for Earth-like worlds and Water-Worlds. Getting a detailed Scan of these bodies can net me a nice payout once I return from my journey.
I have planned to visit a few nebula along the way as well. I reached my first stop earlier today, The Cats Paw Nebula. (FYI, this is a real place in the galaxy). Below are some of the pictures from there, as well as some other shots from my 5,800 Ly journey so far. Thanks for reading and enjoy.