A group planetary circumnavigation expedition (scouting phase)

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For quite some time now I've been kicking around the idea of a group planetary circumnavigation (think one of the organised galactic space expeditions, but in SRVs exploring the surface of just one planet).

The idea has been raised time and again in discussions around the Planetary Circumnavigation Club's members lounge and I've also been contacted by other commanders and groups from time to time who are considering a similar thing.

Finally I really feel like it's time to make this happen. I appreciate that a lot of people are off on Distant Worlds 2 but I really can't wait the better part of year before doing this (so advance apologies to those of you on your way across the galaxy who won't be able to take part).

The basic idea is to find a truly wonderful landable planet/moon, carefully plan a route (a vague circumnavigation but deviating to take in some of the more notable landmarks), gather together a group of players interested in doing this and then head on out to explore what Frontier and the Stellar Forge have created in a brand new way.

So, the first thing is to find our planet.

I have in mind a circumference of somewhere between 3000 km and 4000 km (with a total journey length of maybe 6000 or 7000 km), looking to spend somewhere between 2 weeks and a month making the journey (although I'm happy to adjust this to maximise people's willingness to take part). So we're looking at a planet/moon with a radius around 550km.

I'd like it to be a fairly low gravity planet because I really enjoy this mode of travel ..
[video=youtube_share;7E7wxMIUuOQ]https://youtu.be/7E7wxMIUuOQ[/video]
That one was Pleione 3A which has a gravity of 0.05g. Again tho' - I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise about this aspect of the journey.

I think the main thing is that the planet should be really spectacular. That means it needs to have nice lighting, perhaps a nice view of a nearby twin moon, parent ringed gas giant or nebula? It also needs to have loads of really interesting terrain and plenty of tough (but far from impossible challenges) - things we can pick out as waypoints, places to meet (should it even have some planetary bases perhaps?), things to see (maybe some geological/biological POIs?), obstacles to be overcome.

Here's a small selection of images (a "mood board" if you like) to illustrate the sort of things I have in mind.














So - please let me know in the thread if you're interested. Let me know your thoughts and, most important of all, start scouting for candidate worlds to explore. I've created a google sheet here where we can enter our suggestions and also keep track of any worlds we've ruled out for whatever reason (in order to avoid multiple people scouting the same location). For starters you can use EDDB to search for landable bodies within 50ly of named reference systems, adding "Radius" as an extra column which you can then sort on to narrow the list down to something around 550km (assuming we all vaguely agree on that size). There's also a list of smaller bodies at the end of the OP in the Planetary Circumnavigation Club's main forum thread although I think these are probably too small for our purposes.

Let's do this thing!



Prelminary rosta:

  • Alec Turner
  • Jonas Treesong
  • Nick Sticks
  • Ian Phillips
  • SushiCW
  • tazbert
  • AkenBosch
  • rootsrat + various members of the Winged Hussars
  • Kaa Mchorror
  • Stasis Wolf
  • Florenus
  • Macedonica
  • Jyn Young
  • Caliber_az
  • Walter2
  • subhouse07
  • Taronas
  • Termite Altair
Possible expedition names:

  • The first great planetary expedition
  • Scarab Trek 3305
  • 4 Wheel Drive Circumnavigation Expedition
  • Wrong Way Round
  • Distant Wheels
  • Magellan Project
  • Once Around The Rock
  • Rock Around The Clock (or Clock Around the Rock?)
  • The Cannonball Rally
  • There and Back Again - an SRVs' Tale
  • Road to Ridges
  • The One World expedition


List of Planetary circumnavigation candidate worlds
 
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I'm in.

My suggestion would be Vela Dark region MX-U C2-6 14 A A.

It's 491KM Radius and 0.05G.

It's got some interesting coloured terrain with craters, canyons and mountains.

It's got Silicate Vapour Geysers and a good selection of materials.

It's got a moon very close by for the backdrop.

I've been thinking of circumnavigating this one for quite a while.







 
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I'm in.

My suggestion would be Vela Dark region MX-U C2-6 14 A A.

It's 491KM Radius and 0.05G.

It's got some interesting coloured terrain with craters, canyons and mountains.

It's got Silicate Vapour Geysers and a good selection of materials.

It's got a moon very close by for the backdrop.

I've been thinking of circumnavigating this one for quite a while.

Looks promising, I'm gonna head out there tomorrow for a look. Seems not to be in EDDB/EDSM but I'm guessing it's around 900ly from Sol?
 
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I'm guessing you want something closer to Sol than this, but Garuda A 1 b fits a lot of your requirements pretty well.
- radius 538km, surface gravity 0.06G
- it's a close binary moon
- lots of volcanism surface sites
- nearby ringed gas giant and nebula backdrop
- nice colour
- interesting terrain with lots of craters, canyons, etc.
- has a surface outpost, which is itself in interesting terrain (crater, with mini-canyons, nice central peak, bordering a mountain range)
- close to local amenities and SRV stockists
 
I'm guessing you want something closer to Sol than this, but Garuda A 1 b fits a lot of your requirements pretty well.
- radius 538km, surface gravity 0.06G
- it's a close binary moon
- lots of volcanism surface sites
- nearby ringed gas giant and nebula backdrop
- nice colour
- interesting terrain with lots of craters, canyons, etc.
- has a surface outpost, which is itself in interesting terrain (crater, with mini-canyons, nice central peak, bordering a mountain range)
- close to local amenities and SRV stockists
22kly? yeah - that's a bit too far for my liking! [haha]

Perfect, thanks - I've tweaked the sheet a bit with a calculated circumference and also edited the Notes column so it include the name of the person who mentioned it.
 
I'm in as well!!
Full disclosure (and credit where it's due) - it was actually Jonas who prodded me back into action on this planetary circumnavigation expedition thing so a quick thanks to him for doing that (and for all the useful input - more of which later once we have our planet) because it is something I've really been wanting to do but there's always one more distraction and I've been sitting on this idea for far too long now!
 
I'm in!

1000 ly from the bubble is the limit?
Not necessarily. We might, for example, go 2k or 3k for a real gem of a planet I guess. My fear is that the further we go the more people might drop out. But, you know, 2kly is 50 jumps in a 40ly ship which is still less than an hour to get there which is perfectly acceptable really given that we're going to be spending the better part of a month down on the planet.

Oh - also, it's more of a chore to check out planets under consideration if they're dotted around the galaxy, thousands of light years from Sol. It's one thing for the expedition to make a single 4kly return trip to THE planet but another to scout out half a dozen different planets that are all this far out.
 
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I'm in, obviously. I think picking something with one or more surface settlements would be awesome. Secondary to spectacular terrain, of course! I will keep an eye on systems I pass through.

At one point I earmarked Yuracani 2 as a candidate but that was a while ago and I don't remember anything about it.


And of course we need to think of a really kickin' name for the whole thing.

Distant Wheels?
Magellan Project?


EDIT: A couple other quick thoughts:

* Depending on the timing, and when the new ice planet stuff arrives, it would be awesome to have a planet that can take advantage of it.
 
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Reckon I'm up for this too - would make a change after a year on DECE.

Can't do much scouting just at the moment, I'm near Colonia as a test run to see if I can get used to the FSS (Grrrrrrrr....)
Should be back in a few days though.

Need to think about names:

4 Wheel Drive Circumnavigation Expedition?
Wrong Way Round?
 
ROSS 780 5 A

Distance to Sol: 15LY
Radius: 527 km, Gravity: 0.03G
Ice world
No volcanism

Tidally locked but "dark side" is pretty light (check my pics below all taken on the dark side).

No bases according to map. System has one Ocellus star port and two outposts.

Bright side, not too difficult to navigate

Dark side, enough challenges

A mood pic...

Low orbit over the dark side...

And another mood pic...
 
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I'm in.

My suggestion would be Vela Dark region MX-U C2-6 14 A A.

It's 491KM Radius and 0.05G.

It's got some interesting coloured terrain with craters, canyons and mountains.

It's got Silicate Vapour Geysers and a good selection of materials.

It's got a moon very close by for the backdrop.

I've been thinking of circumnavigating this one for quite a while.

Very nice! Just spent a couple of hours there. Added some comments to the spreadsheet and have uploaded some images and video.

7.5/10 (in my somewhat arbitrary marking scheme)
 
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Just been scouting a bit more around the systems near "New Growth" asteroid base in the Pencil Sector. From an EDDB search there are hundreds of landable moons in this area of the right kind of size and gravity - all quite pleasant I guess and often with geologicals or bioglogicals - just somewhat unremarkable. I'm recording videos like the following to keep a record of these finds.

[video=youtube_share;Uf3EepJt2fs]https://youtu.be/Uf3EepJt2fs[/video]

[video=youtube_share;H9IcBJngzYY]https://youtu.be/H9IcBJngzYY[/video]

Some of the biological sites are pretty cool tho!

 
Oh, I'm SO much in.[yesnod]

I had a candidate for a new personal circumnavigation attempt for a good while, had to scrap the project for the time being due to a rather rough patch of RL of mine.

Can't remember its exact properties now, I've got to check those when I'm in game (I had it bookmarked, you never know :cool:), but I surely remember its prominent feature: it's a "shepherd moon", orbiting so close to its parent rings that they can be resolved from the surface of it, seeing them speeding by was quite the view. It's also the only place until now where I've managed to find geysers on my own (pre-3.3 handy gadgets), inside a system of narrow and relatively hard to navigate canyons.

I'll keep you updated, in a couple hours hopefully.
 
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