Scarab SRV navigates only by the ambient light of the galactic plane, finding a crashed navigation beacon.

Elite Journal: Outer Arm Vacuus (April Exploration Days 7 – 10)

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If the gaps between stars were not bad enough around the Crab Nebula, they were downright evil further out towards the rim. I felt like I had learned a lesson about the SRV though, and began the arduous process of collecting materials to try to increase my jump range in an effort to bridge the obstacle that lay ahead of me…

I actually had a LOT of fun with this process; driving around attempting to scale near vertical climbs and dealing with the changing lighting conditions was awesome.


There is nothing more terrifying in this universe than feeling slightly stranded in your sector of the galaxy, landing on a planet to prospect for things you need to stay on your selected course, seeing your ship fly away from you as you gain distance on it, then as you try to slowly wind your way down the side of the canyon seeing the sun dip below the horizon, giving you only the ambient light of the galactic plane and your lights to help you navigate… If I rolled down the side of that canyon and lost this SRV, I’d probably not be able to risk going all the way to the outer rim by this route…

Some materials were easy to find, others took a couple of days all by themselves, but once I found a planet with Polonium, I was ready to go. The difficult bit? Go where?

Once you hit that rift between the arms of the spiral galaxy we live in, you truly understand what the word “lost” really means. You can try again, and again, and again to find a path that works for you, but I ended up spending almost a full day within the same thin 200LY rectangle along the side of the Outer Arm Vacuus. While I am almost certain there will be a route through with enough FSD boost available, I realized eventually that I didn’t have enough, and I’d have to turn back and attempt a trip to the outer rim at a later date.

Overview map by Katejina.

I will return. But, what now? Monkey Head, Rosette, Seagull and Thor’s Helmet Nebulae… My return journey has begun.

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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.