On October 15th, 2054, after decades of research, aerospace giant Lockheed Martin creates a prototype of the world's first fusion reactor.
Ten years later, at the peak of a global climate catastrophe, governments around the world ban the use of fossil fuels in response to the irreparable damage caused to Earth. The first stable fusion reactor is put to commercial use, providing an almost limitless source of clean energy. It changes the course of humanity forever.
In 2074, a small NASA-funded research lab in Wyoming, led by physicist Emiliana Newton, leverages the power of fusion to push the physical frontiers of deep space exploration. They manage to make an atom move so fast that it travels back in time, which effectively opens the door for faster-than-light (FTL) space travel. They dub it the Hyperlight core.
In 2075, NASA receives a distress signal coming from a nearby planet, Q465b. Though faster-than-light travel has only been tested in controlled environments, NASA and the International Space Agency jointly form a new entity called USEF (United Space Exploration Federation) with the purpose of manning an exploratory mission to find the origin of this mysterious signal. Construction of the USEF SOLIS is completed on December 2084. Emiliana Newton and Philip Maeda are chosen to embark on the mission.
Their journey is estimated to take 60 years.