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DeVass Warp Probe
After breakthroughs in the fields of nuclear power in the early 2010's, DeVass sought to utilise this new form of power generation in order to create the necessary conditions for a miniature 'black hole' so that a craft may travel great distances in a short space of time.
By 2022, early prototypes were tested some distance from Mars, but had mixed results. One prototype suffered a catastrophic failure, destroying itself, its support cradle and badly damaging the support ship monitoring the test nearby. This forced a design rethink, which resulted in 2025 the completion of the worlds first warp-generator equipped probe. The probe was shipped by Explorer-class freighter to the orbit of Jupiter, far away from the burgening orbiting construction sites nearby.
The experiment was carefully prepared and monitored by the worlds media. At 11 o'clock, on the morning of the 19th of April 2027, Henri DeVass pressed the button that launched the probe on its 6 light-year journey and a new chapter in Mans journey to the stars had begun.
The arrival of the probe was recorded by another craft launched to Barnards Star some 15 years earlier, powered by a nuclear/plasma drive. In January 2029 the signal (sent by a primitive form of Hyperwave communications) of the safe arrival was received back on Earth with an unexpected bonus; it appeared that the Barnards Star system was inhabited - with visitors from the neighbouring star system Alpha Centauri...
Shortly after contact with the Alphans was made in 2036, the probe was recovered and shipped back to Sol, for public display at the museum of spaceflight at the TTA North African shipyards, where it is now permanently on display.