NASA is part of the final mission in Starfield, so getting there with your team is inevitable after you meet the two Starborns - the Hunter and the Emissary. The mission also explains what happened to Earth and why your ancestors have opted to leave their home planet for new homes in a strange star system.
Yet, the mission also raises a few side questions. Why is there a derelict ship sitting at NASA’s launch pad as if waiting for the order to launch? You’d think this ship should’ve left with its passengers and all the others during the frantic exodus from Earth.
So why did the colony ship stay at NASA all this time instead of lifting off to the relative safety and uncertainty of the stars above?
While these Redditors don’t have the exact answer - there is no confirmed story in the official lore for now - they do have interesting and lore-friendly theories.
One user, Nealithi, said that the colony ship was being prepped for a launch that never came. They pointed to some notes on a computer in the complex discussing rumors of the launch being scrapped, but the rumor remains unconfirmed. Thus, the crew kept the colony ship prepped until they could receive confirmation.
Another TechnicalSpottedNewt also pointed to existing notes in the computers explaining that NASA scrapped the colony ship program after the success of the grav drive. Because the grav drive allowed ships to travel great distances faster, the slower colony ships were considered obsolete.
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