The ESV Exploration is among the better known ships in Humanity's short galactic history, though it falls behind ships like the Nova and Chimera for galactic recognition. There have, to date, been three iterations of the original Exploration, and an entire class of ships built off of the third design.

The First Exploration
The first exploration is the best known to the greater galaxy, primarily due to its connection to the Infinity Drive. The Exploration was the first vessel, of any kind, to successfully use an early-generation Infinity Drive, representing Humanity's first successful superluminal test.

Prior to this success, the Amaril Corporation had attempted to strap the infinity drive onto a number of unmanned drones. While the drones disappeared from all sensors, and it is now presumed that many of them may have reached superluminal speeds, none of them returned to report their success or failure. The reason for this was not particularly mysterious, indeed Jack Amaril had predicted the problem and called the attempt a "shot in the dark."

The problem then was one still faced, though to a much lesser extent, by ships using the Infinity Drive today. In essence, the problem originated from the relatively small size of the drones. The drone bodies, even the largest at 50 meters in length, simply didn't have enough capacity for the combination of sensors, processing power, shields, and engines to survive the attempt. If they lacked the best sensors they couldn't see what was in the way, if the lacked the processing power they couldn't react in time to avoid debris at their immense speed, if they lacked in shielding even small particulate would destroy them, and if they lacked in engine power they would never reach the minimum speed threshold for early versions of the Infinity Drive to make progress.

The Exploration was the eventual answer to these failures. Rather than attempt to build a drone on the scale needed, Jack Amaril, who had faith in his Infinity Engine design, skipped to building a manned ship. He poured the majority of his considerable fortune and business assets into the construction of the 400 meter long Exploration, over-engineering its capability at every step. His faith in the idea, and his work on the design, paid off when the Exploration succeeded in not only bypassing the speed of light, but reaching multiples of lightspeed on its first test run.

Tragically, a minor wiring fault caused a fire and large explosion in the ship shortly after it successfully returned to sub-light speeds. While the ship was heavily damaged, and the loss of life was devastating, the basic core of the ship structure remained unaffected. The major components and skeleton of the ship would form the core of both the Exploration II and Exploration III.

The Exploration II

The Exploration II, built on the original Exploration's frame, was expanded somewhat in size to account for a larger crew and much larger storage capacity. The addition of new technologies that allowed for the the shrinking of both the computer assets and engines added to the new additions to give this second iteration of the ship a much extended range.

This extended range was critical, as the Exploration II's new mission was to make the first journey to another star. Specifically, the Exploration II was designed for a voyage to Sol's nearest neighbor, the triple stars of Alpha Centauri. After the overhaul to the new ship design, a number of lesser test runs and minor rebuilds took place to hammer out the problems, and then Jack Amaril personally commanded a year-long expedition to Alpha Centauri. While the ship suffered a number of near-catastrophic failures during its lonely, risky trip, with Jack Amaril personally on board with a hand-chosen team of experts, the ship ultimately returned to Sol more-or-less intact. This marked another major turning point for Humanity's space endeavors, and the Exploration was again broken down to just its frame. This frame would be built upon, again, to create the Exploration III.

The Exploration III

While the Exploration III represented a huge technical leap forward, with many new additions from what the Alpha Centauri expedition had learned, it is by far the least famous of the ship's iterations. The reason for this is that, simply put, the Exploration III was merely a prototype and test bed for an entire upcoming new class of exploratory vessels.

While it set many new records and achieved great things in its own right, the Exploration III is very much the unsung hero of the series, accomplishing things in stages and steps rather than great leaps. Eventually the Exploration Class ships were modeled off this new iteration, and the Exploration III was finally retired for use as a museum. The ships still functions, to this day, and is held in orbit around Earth as an educational tourist attraction. For many children, the Exploration, iteration III, is the first fully functioning starship that they step foot on, as field trips for their schools.

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