Community Event / Creation Buckyball Run A*: What do you do when a mountain is there? Move it.

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POS indicates current position based on submitted race time. NA Has not launched. UR Under Review. DNF Did Not Finish. DQ Disqualified. PEN Penalty.
Dots indicate number of BBR's run. Reverse dots indicate a BBR win. Asterisk indicates completion of BBRA*
Times updated weekly, or when I can manage it.

Looking for info on the previous Buckyball Runs? Click here for the Buckyblog.

The "Buckyball" Braben Star-to-Shining-Star Memorial Trophy Dash, widely known simply as The Buckyball Run, was an unofficial, unsanctioned spaceship race run from Xiaoguan Hub in Magec to the Vonarburg Co-Operative in the Wyrd system, intended both as a celebration of the Federation Interstellar Star Route System and a protest against strict traffic laws coming into effect at the time.

As it was found out, the newly imposed 9.8c relativistic limit imposed by the Federation Maximum Velocity Law (imposed as an energy conservation measure) was actually slower than the quickest average velocities of point-to-point travels of Commander Ian Buchanan "Buckyball" Braben (no relation) in the first half of the 32nd century. In 3102, Braben flew the route in a Cowell-MgRath model 57 Sidewinder, averaging greater than 12.5c, setting a 32 minute record that stood for nearly 140 years.

Another motivation was the fun involved...

So what is it?

The Buckyball Run is the name of a series of point-to-point rally races through the space lanes of Elite Dangerous where pilots record their best time from start to finish. Commanders can make the run in whatever vessel they have provided it has the jump range. The Buckyball Run isn't just about coming in first, it's about taking the dare. Sidewinders and Haulers all the way up to fully tricked out Anacondas have all made the Run.

I thought Buckyballs were numbered. Like Buckyball 5, 6, 7... What's with Buckyball A? And why the asterisk?

The Buckyball Run A* is a little different than previous Buckyballs. The A* is a reference to the finish line. Sagittarius A*. As such, it's not a numbered race like the others.

Sagittarius A*? As in the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy? THAT Sagittarius A*?

Yep, that's the one! The only other Sagittarius A* I know of is this crappy nightclub at George Lucas in Leesti. They water their drinks and charge a .10cr cover. No way in hell we're going there on a run.

That's almost 26,000 light years!!!

View attachment 30394

Give or take.

That'll take forever!!!

Or 12 hours, 58 minutes. You see, there's this commander named Anuranium who showed up for Buckyball 7, ran once, kinda shrugged as if to say "that's cute," took his bumper sticker and left. Little did we know the week before he had just come back from his own private run. He'd posted a picture of his clock at Galileo Station in Sol,then posted a picture of himself at Sagittarius A* about 13 hours later.

Needless to say we at the Buckyball Run were impressed. An endurance race has always been in the cards and Sag A* was already on the short list. Anuranium just went and did the legwork for us. So really, Buckyball Run A* can stand for Buckyball Run Anuranium as well, or the Anuranium Run, since he actually went out there for no other reason than to see how fast it could be done. And that, ladies and gents, is what the Buckyball is all about. Well, that and huge bar tabs.

Congrats on your epic run, CMDR Anuranium. Bucky salutes you! o7 The only question now is can anyone beat you?

IMPORTANT NOTE: CMDR Anuranium pulled off this non-stop feat of derring-do in a tricked out Anaconda with a long jump range and ginormous fuel scoop. Smaller ships will have to make more jumps and spend a lot more time scooping to make the trip. Get that 13 hour time out of your head unless you're in a similar ship. The jaunt to Sag A* might take you considerably longer, even several days and that's cool. Just be ready for the long haul.

Is this like previous runs where I can choose Solo or Open?

Unfortunately not. Anuranium set the bar by making the trip in Open, and splitting the leaderboards by open/solo like was done in the past will dilute the results. It also sounds like work. Bucky doesn't like extra work. So open only, no solo/private groups accepted. Sorry.

Ok so then you're only counting time logged in the game, right? If I go to sleep or go have to go to work or take care of my family, the timer stops, right? And picks up when I come back in?

Nope. Time waits for no one. The clock starts when you launch, and stops only when you reach Sagittarius A*. Any time asleep, at work, in the can, whatever, all count towards your total time. That doesn't mean you can't take breaks or even go to sleep if you like, but it all definitely counts against your time.

You're on onionhead. This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. You expect people to sit in their cockpits, ignoring all else for an entire day making a thousand jumps and fuel scooping over and over all while trying not to fall asleep to crash exiting hyperspace or make a mistake while navigating and end up in a patch of unscoopable stars to make a speedrun to the center of the galaxy???

Nobody's holding a railgun to your head. The line leading to the ordinary is right over there. They saved a spot for ya.

Psh... Forget that greenhorn. I'm in! But what do I get out of this if I do it?

You get to sit in your cockpit ignoring all else for an entire day making a thousand jumps and fuel scooping over and over all while trying not to fall asleep to crash exiting hyperspace or make a mistake while navigating and end up in a patch of unscoopable stars to make a speedrun to the center of the galaxy. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

But... in addition to having your time officially recorded, you get the chance to have your name forever stenciled in history as the discoverer of a new system. Take a discovery scanner, and rake in millions selling cartographic data upon your return. Achieve Elite status as an explorer. If you're any type of romantic, you get to make an epic trip to the center of our galaxy and see that bright band of stars from the inside looking out, to know what it's like to be at the middle a giant whirlpool of stars a hundred thousand light years across. You get to encounter the largest black hole ever recorded, the cosmic drain around which the Milky Way swirls and have, for a brief moment, the entire galaxy centered around you.

If that's not enough, you also get a free bumper sticker.

Sweet! Everybody loves bumper stickers!

I know, right? Plus, if you're a regular Buckyballer, in addition to the regular dots awarded, you'll have a spiffy looking star next to your name as well. Pretty badass, huh?

Thumbs up! Let's do this! What's the drill?

I took the liberty of drawing a route map. I hope you find it helpful:


Dock at Galileo in Sol. Or, if you haven't sufficiently bootlicked your way up the Federal ranks or you just can't stand being in Fed space, you can start at Lomas Orbital at Wolf 359. It's a little further away but it shouldn't make a difference. (Anybody who whines about this starts at Hutton Oribital at Alpha Centauri. Anybody going to whine? Didn't think so.) Exit the station, hang a left or right depending on your vector, fly 25,800-ish light years to Sagittarius A* as fast as you can. Easy! But there are some specifics for it to count:

The Important Stuff (How to register and race)

  1. Post your intent to race in this thread, or if you are not a forum member, email (bucky at electricz dot net)with your info. List the following:
    • Your commander's name (if different than your user name)
    • Ship Name
    • Ship Type
  2. When you're ready to start, begin a game session in Open Mode. (No Solo or Private Group runs.)
  3. Make sure your ship is in tip-top shape at Galileo in Sol, or Lomas Orbiter in Wolf 359. Make repairs, remove any excess mass, get it configured how you want it for the run, because it's gonna be a long trip back if you forget your sunglasses.
  4. Open the Outfitting screen and hit F10 for a screenshot of your ship. Be sure to capture Power Plant, Thruster, FSD and Distributor statistics as well as your ship's mass. You will send this with your race time submission.
  5. Make sure you are on the surface and prepare for launch. If you start your clock in the hangar you'll be unhappy.
  6. Hit F10 to take a screenshot or start your video capture, showing your location and time. You need it in order to qualify your run.
  7. Launch and get going, champ! The clock is ticking!
  8. Navigate your way to Sagittarius A*. Spoiler alert: it's far.
  9. Upon arrival at Sag A* bring your engine to a halt, fire up your galmap and take a screenshot of your position and the chronometer. Congratulations, you made it! You might want to alt-tab out and check your screenshot folder to make sure it actually got taken taken.
  10. PM me links to your screenshots, three total: your outfitting screen, start time on the dock, gal map showing end time and location at Sag A*. Feel free to post supporting evidence, your Sag A* Selfies, etc, in the thread. In fact, take a few for insurance purposes, in case you are called out by another racer.
  11. With your screenshots, include the following information:
    • Your Commander's Name
    • Your Ship's Name
    • Your total race Time. Use a site like Time Duration Calculator for easy calculation. Please include your time because I guarantee I will mess it up and you will be unhappy.
    • A short quote (40-50 chars) upon reaching the finish line! It can be anything you like. Something inspirational. A dedication to someone. Just keep it clean and your words will go down in history.
    • PM me your real-world, earthbound mailing address and you'll receive an official real-world Buckyball Run A* bumper sticker at no cost to you! You earned it, sport!


      (while supplies last. One per CMDR. Offer applies only for BBRA* and not any other Buckyball event.)
  12. Head back with your head held high by whatever route and at your own pace. You're a galactic hero! Your name and time will go on the leaderboard with the next update.

CMDRs who make the trip will have their times posted on a leaderboard by time. But in addition to the main leaderboard for all times, but there will be a separate board for the top time in each ship class. So fly what you want, or what you have. Take an Orca. Take a Viper. Shoot, one CMDR circumnavigated the entire galaxy in a Sidewinder. Be the first to do it in an Eagle, or a Hauler. Just getting on the board is an achievement.

As usual, screenshots will verify the racers' times. Screenshot your clock before launch and of the galmap at upon arrival for your run to count. CMDRs recording video can still do so if they have the terabytes to do it, but you still have to send me the screenshots. You can take screenshots from the recorded video after the fact. Important note: we're on the honor system here, but events may arise requiring you to send the actual .bmp files from your screenshot directory. If you can't produce them if asked by the racing staff to do so, you may face disqualification. So don't modify the originals, and keep them in a safe place!

Crap. I've already been to Sag A*. But I really want that bumper sticker.

You can always go back again for time. For a while we were taking down names of visitors on an "unofficial" list, but that's really just duplicating the fine efforts of Kancro Vantas's excellent and much more comprehensive Sagittarius A* Visitor's list. Head on over there if you haven't already and get on the list.

Just so you know, astronomers abbreviate Sagittarius A* as "Sgr A*"

Oh who invited you back to the conversation? Anybody who knows Sagittarius A* personally calls him "Sadge." Only people who peep through telescopes from 26,000 light years away call him "Sgr." Perverts.

So What's to keep me from faking my screenshots or lying about my ship's configuration?

I can't stop you. Not at all. There are all kinds of ways you can cheat on this. Faking screenshots, using exploits. Note that even using the Wingman Nav Lock function, even though it is built in to the game, should be avoided. Iin the real life, earth-bound Cannonball Run, there was "a gentlemen's agreement that the vehicle entered would be driven the entire distance, not having it transported on another vehicle, nor having an identical second vehicle hidden near the finish, etc." That's the spirit of this little exercise. How fast can you make the run, using only your piloting skills the ship you've got? There's no need to cheat because what would that get you? There's no prize other than doing it. The competitors did it just for the hell of it. Besides, cheaters make Bucky sad. Do you want to make Bucky sad? Don't be that commander. Nobody likes that commander.

Thanks for the lecture. Anything else?

Nope, that about does it. If you have any questions at all, either post them here or PM me before you take off. You don't want to get all the way out there and then ask. The rules may be amended or changed as time goes on but I will do everything I can to keep the core challenge the same.

And finally, the Shotgun Shine won't be waiting at the end of this run, but CMDR Ortilano says that anybody returning with a Sag A* asterisk next to their name gets the steak gaucho dinner plate (or a meal of the racer's choice) on the house and their picture behind the bar.

Wait, what about Buckyball Run 8?

It was originally planned to kick off 18 Jul but BBR8 is on hold until further notice.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! You may launch at any time.
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+1 rep for the sheer crazyness of this one. :D

No chance I would be dragged in though.

C'mon Z! What, you got a life outside the cockpit or something? ;)

First registration!

CMDR Name: ElectricZ
Ship Name: Shipwrecked and Comatose
Ship Type: Asp

Note there is no "Question of the Race" this round. Instead, CMDRs who complete the run get to sign the Sag A* guestbook with a short quote! If that doesn't get people out there going, I don't know what will.

Edit: CRAAAAP! Got sniped by Rankaze. :p Usually it's FoxTwo.

OK so I get second registration. Well shoot, I guess since Anuranium already finished I get third. Already sliding down the leaderboard and I haven't even left dock...
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Nice idea!

But not again!

I vote for the Sag A*-visitor-list-entries to be included in the result as well. :)
Sigh... Bucky goes through all the trouble of typing up all these rules, but does anybody read them?


Nice idea! But not again! I vote for the Sag A*-visitor-list-entries to be included in the result as well. :)

The Rules... said:
Crap. I've already been to Sag A*. But I really want that bumper sticker.

You can always go back for time... But Bucky realizes what a great feat it was for CMDRs to reach Sag A* before it was cool. If you have proof of your venture, a screenshot from your cockpit looking at Sag A* and can provide an estimate of how long your journey took, you can get on the "Unofficial" leaderboard. Go ahead and post your info in the thread as per the instructions above, and send me your proof via PM, as well as your quote upon reaching Sag A*. You won't get the star next to your name, and it can't be counted as an official race time, but the galaxy will know you made it!

Found that guy...

Would love to participate but I'm already halfway to Sag A* or should I say Sgr A*

The Rules... said:
Just so you know, astronomers abbreviate Sagittarius A* as "Sgr A*"

Oh who invited you back to the conversation? Anybody who knows Sagittarius A* personally calls him "Sadge." Only people who peep through telescopes from 26,000 light years away call him "Sgr." Perverts.
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Oh man, this is kerrrazy! I am so up for this - my only problem, how to explain to my wife and family that yes, I am going to sit at the computer for 12+hrs straight and no, they do not need to call the paramedics, but yes, if they could poke small, pre-chewed pieces of food into my mouth at regular intervals than that would be greatly appreciated.

My only other problem (anyone remember my stop motion BB6 video?) - where can I get a glass that can hold 12hrs worth of gin?

I will sign up later when I've sorted out these logistical problems.
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Thanks Bucky...i admit i overread it :D
So here we go:

CMDR: Ericlas
SHIP NAME: Core-Runner

Start: 19.02.3301, Founders World
Sag A*: 27.02.3301
End: 06.03.3301, Founders World

Proof sent via PM.

Good luck all the runners! Fly safe!

edit: and a massive congratulation to CMDR Anuranium ... 13 hours is just nothing less than totally INSANE!
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Some day I will definitely be having a go at this. Not immediately, though, as I've just set out on an exploration trip in the other direction.

Not yet sure whether the vessel used will be my trusty Cobra Back of Beyond, or my exploration-equipped Type 6 Deep Blue Yonder. Hmmm, might need to find the time for two trips...

(The things I'll do for the spiffy looking star :D).
Pure awesomeness! ElectricZ, you're my hero!

A friendly advise to all participants: Stack up on snacks, put on your favourite radio, get yourself REALLY comfortable, and make sure to take a 5 minute break every hour. After this trip "starstruck" will never have the same meaning again.

Good luck, and fly safe CMDR's.
Pure awesomeness! ElectricZ, you're my hero!

A friendly advise to all participants: Stack up on snacks, put on your favourite radio, get yourself REALLY comfortable, and make sure to take a 5 minute break every hour. After this trip "starstruck" will never have the same meaning again.

Good luck, and fly safe CMDR's.

Yeah, I'm debating whether I need to buy a new chair before I attempt this. The one I am currently gaming in is... not very comfortable.

It's something I've been meaning to do anyway, so I'll probably end up doing that.
Well, I've already been but I'd like to claim my bumper sticker and a spot on the unofficial board.

I am CMDR David 'Shrek' Fisk and my vessel of choice was a trusty Asp Explorer, the aptly named 'You Barsteward!' (well, something very similar anyway - coined during a scooping mishap) which arrived at Sag A* on 27th Mar 3301 after around 3 weeks of aimless meandering.

Already got the proof posted over at - but unfortunately no outfitting shots, but the decommissioned stripped out shell is now on display on the forecourt of the Achenar branch of (at least i think he said ship, it was a bad line) so drop in there if you want to poke about.

I should probably get extra merit for temporary insanity as I was using a creaky old laptop with a GT420m at the time (also thankfully decommissioned). If you need any other information, please don't hesitate to contact me so I can look vaguely puzzled, shrug and point out my memory ain't what it used to be.

Cheers :)
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Eric, Hamster, got your times, congrats on making it to the middle. :) Can't wait to see what it looks like myself in a week. (Hopefully.) Your bumper stickers are in the mail!

In response to the first problem: It's a battle of wills. Convince your family that they're better off with you at the computer supplied with food. Helpful suggestions in this vein include:

*Setting things around the house on fire
*Wandering the neighborhood in your boxer shorts and a pair of house slippers muttering about (insert favorite political nonsense here)
*Continuously talking to everyone in your family that you see, regardless of what they might be doing at the time. This particularly works great if they're sleeping or making use of the facilities.
*Inform your family that it's either this or being a US Civil War re-enactor.

As to the second problem, skip the glass and keep the case nearby.

This your regular pre-flight checklost, Sidenti? ;)

Awww c'mon Jackie! Don't be like that! You know you want another bumper sticker.

For anybody who's on the fence about this, just watch this inspirational video detailing every reason why you SHOULD do it. Just substitute "bumper sticker" for the twinkie. You can't help but be swayed by its passionate logic. I'll see you at the starting line!

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You know, I really hate timezones!

FIRST ENTRY (from Asia)!

Name: FoxTwo
Cmdr Name: Pete "FoxTwo" Aldric
Ship: Cobra (was contemplating Vulture but it'd take longer and more jumps)
Ship Name: Improbability Drive (sister ship to Friendship Drive IV)

Now I have to decide if I want to do it this weekend over a 26-hour period (averaging 1,000 LY/hr) in 1 shot or to break it up into days :p
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Well, I've had this as my next major exploration milestone, and though this moves my timetable up a bit as I had been planning on waiting on a decked out Asp, why the heck not? D*** the torpedoes, I say!

Pilot: CMDR Grey Cavanaugh
Ship Type: Type-6Transporter "Harry S Plinkett"

Now, I'm just wondering how far the entire run of Futurama will get me. That and when the SPACE MADNESS will set in.
I'm not sure I've packed enough Lavian Brandy for this... :D

One question: EZ, given the rather... daunting... nature of this trip, will multiple runs per CMDR in different ships be allowed on the board? i.e. One run per CMDR per ship type.
I mostly ask because I'd love to challenge Anuranium at the top of the by-time board, but I'm a couple of (hundred million) credits short of being able to afford such a ship at the moment... And I'm not sure I want to spend the time, effort and brandy required to do it sooner if that time will just get wiped later on!

... and yes, of all the questions it would be me that asks this one. :D
Ya know, it's right about now that I wished that there's a website out there that has the ED Galaxy mapped 1 for 1 (sorta like, so we can plan routes etc while physically not able to be inside ED :p Can't tell ya how many times I thought of a loadout for my Cobra or Vulture etc and I'm at work, so I load up and had a look at the results and how much I'd need to be spending.

ps: Esvandiary, I am nominating you for the title of "The Craziest One Of All" for Buckyball Runs :p
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