The Jane Chen was a ship of exploration constructed by the Solar Confederation in the era prior to Terran contact with the Civilization of the Five Galaxies. It was one of the first two Human-crewed extrasolar vessels, the other being the Isaac Newton, and replaced the earlier Hawking class unmanned probes.
Jane Chen was an antimatter-driven starship, capable of supporting a Human crew for an extended voyage to another star system. Though the vessel traveled fast enough for the crew to experience relativistic effects, it was also equipped to allow the crew to undergo long periods of hibernation during the voyage.
The Jane Chen departed the Sol system for Alpha Centauri in the late 2100s C.E., on what the crew anticipated would be a one-way journey. It, along with six other early expeditions, found ruined worlds in the Geminga Starfield, which would come to be known as the The Ash.
- ↑ Contacting Aliens: An Illustrated Guide to David Brin's Uplift Universe, p. 3