Alpha Centauri

Alpha Centauri is a triple star system located 4.4 light years from the Sol System. It was the site of the first extra-solar human colony.

First Manned Mission

Alpha Centauri was first reached by the interstellar nuclear pulse starship Orion in 2230 following a ten year journey. The Orion crew discovered a single planet capable of supporting life orbiting Centauri B which they named Richaud after the astronomer who discovered Alpha Centauri's multiple nature in 1689. Orion did not posses the capability to land on Richaud, but managed to send out several scientific probes to the five planets that orbited Centauri B, the seven planets that orbited Centauri A, and the two that orbited Proxima Centauri. Orion returned to Earth in 2241.

Return

Humans returned to Alpha Centauri in 2265 on board a more advanced nuclear pulse ship named the Innes. This time, a volunteer crew of 20 were able to land on Richaud and remain behind as Innes returned to Earth. Contact with the Innes was suddenly lost in 2272 as the ship entered the helopause of the Sol System. Contact with the colonists was maintained constantly throughout the next few decades. The colonists reported the first birth in 2275.

A New Age

After the loss of the Innes, Space Force was hesistant to engage another costly mission to Alpha Centauri despite public outcry over the now 21 colonists stranded on Richaud. Newfound interest in an Alpha Centauri mission was renewed in 2299 when the first lightspeed engine was perfected. Space Force constructed the Albert Einstein and launched her in 2306. In 2308, the ship departed the Sol System and arrived at Alpha Centauri in 2312. The Einstein's crew discovered that, out of the original crew of twenty, fourteen were still alive but the colony's population had grown to 23 including A.C. Davis, the first born child on Alpha Centauri who was 32.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, the first faster-than-light engine was perfected in 2312. Space force began construction on Leif Ericson which they intended to return to Alpha Centauri.

Davis and ten other colonists returned to Earth on the Einstein in 2317 and became a celebrity. Davis made the decision to remain on Earth while seven of the ten colonists elected to return on the Ericson.

By 2335, there were ten ships heading back and forth to Alpha Centauri on a run that lasted one year.

Davis finally returned to Alpha Centauri in 2368, but died en route.

The Catian War

The colony on Alpha Centauri continued to grow and prosper as the supply run back and forth was shorted from one year to only six hours. Richaud became a very popular tourist destination and neutral meeting place for newly discovered non-terrestrial governments.

Alpha Centauri was suddenly attacked in 2582 by the Catians who bombed the surface of the planet from orbit in a barrage that killed 34,000 people. This was the flashpoint of the Catian War. Several battles were fought in orbit and on the surface of Richaud, but the Catains were driven out of the system by 2591.

Rebuilding

Following the Catian explusion from the system, the colonies on Richaud were rebuilt with more emphasis on science and defense. A planetary defense network was installed and shipyards were constructed in orbit of Proxima. A permanent patrol was also assigned to the system.

The economy on Richaud has fully rebounded in the years since the attack. Tourists come to see the first colony and the memorials for the Innes and the victims of the Catian attacks. Plans are underway to open a Space Force Academy Campus in 2620.

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