Anaconda basks in the ambient light of the surrounding Nebulae and Barnard's Loop.

Elite Journal: Planetary pancake near Barnard’s Loop

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Sitting in the bar in Conway City (LTT 4961) I pondered where to go on my annual exploration trip… Last year I’d been to Sagittarius A* and seen many sights along the way, I’d also been in the other direction towards Barnard’s Loop. I’d always explored in a Cobra Mk III, which was a sweet ship I greatly enjoyed, with a good heat tolerance level when I messed up my timing during travel. I decided to outfit my Anaconda for exploration, start out by visiting Barnard’s Loop again and see where things went from there…

Screenshot 2016-04-23 10.50.14

I arrived in the Barnard’s Loop vicinity incredibly quickly, and felt that this could be a fantastic trip. I could cover some real distance! I tooled around a little in the SRV I brought along as well, using this short-range trip as an indicator for my longer journey to come…

Then it was time to learn a valuable lesson; I saw a planet with rings that looked like a tasty spot for some good images. I set towards it at full speed, coming in for a steep approach, noticing too-late that the gravity was almost 6G. I tried to reverse my direction of travel, but simply reacted too late, slamming into the planet surface and destroying my ship. I sat on that rock, thankfully, for only a few hours before rescue…

An extremely expensive lesson.

The last image of this Anaconda before it was destroyed on the very planet pictured.

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Space Gaming Category Information

My first space game addiction was with David Braben's 'Frontier - Elite II' released in 1993 on the Commodore Amiga. This game actually gave me so much of what I wanted in a game that I continued to play it until the 'Elite - Dangerous' release in 2014.

I also played through the 'Wing Commander' series from Chris Roberts, enjoying them immensely. This led directly to my support of his 2012 crowdfunding campaign for the Star Citizen and Squadron 42 games that are still in development.

These days I use gaming to try to escape from the pressures of real life. I also occasionally upload or stream gameplay to YouTube and Twitch, and rather than doing this to instruct others of the best way to play, I do it because of the social interaction with viewers and other gamers.

Left: Hires redraw I did of a 'Frontier - Elite II' Eagle ship with Merlin and Aster planets visible.


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Tim is British and lives in the United States with his wife and kids.

He works for software developers Image Space Inc. and Studio 397 on their racing simulations, and is a fan of Gaming, Motorsports, and photography.