For Orlando Jax I came up with the idea of the Gildo de la Serĉanto:
On the planet Montrachet, in the old city of Duclair, is La Rue des Navigateurs, the Street of the Navigators. On this street the early space trading companies built their grand guild houses, did their deals in the cafes and bars, and pleasured their nights away in Les Maisons de L’Amour, the houses of love.
As the known galaxy expanded, so the centre of trade moved further away from Montrachet, and eventually so too did most of the trading companies, leaving their grand monuments as museums to a place in the past.
However, there is one guild house that never turns off its lights. It stays open, ever listening, always waiting for news. It is not a grand building, nor is it particularly remarkable save for the fact that it is the Gildo de la Serĉanto.
A known galaxy can only expand if there are Navigators willing to take the risk and venture into those uncharted deep dry oceans of space. These pioneers are the Serĉanto, and the guild keeps a record of every one of their voyages in the Ledger. There are many names in the Ledger, and against each name is written the nature of their quest and its outcome. Many Serĉanto do not return to tell their story in the comfortable lounge bar of the guild, but over time word gets back as to their fate and the Ledger entry is completed.
It’s fantastic that our search for habitable planets has just taken another step forward in the shape of TESS – the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. TESS was launched on top of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and at the time I’m writing this, is 12 days 3 hours 40 minutes and 42 seconds into its mission. TESS continues the work done by the Kepler spacecraft but will be able to search for Earth like planets orbiting stars which are anywhere between 30 to 100 times brighter than those surveyed by Kepler. NASA hopes TESS will reveal thousands of new Earth and Super-Earth planets that can then be examined more closely by the new James Webb Telescope and existing large ground based telescopes. Have a look at this page to get a feel for the science objectives which really are quite amazing.
We continue to build our ledger – our very own “book of wonders” – of places that in some future time people might call home.