Earth was the beginning of Humans from which they expanded to space. Thanks to the Fusion Drive humans reached and explored the Sol System. The 22nd century saw the solar expansion and Olympia Station was the first permanent settlement outside the planet and the primary staging area for migration to the outer planets. The United Nations established further permanent colonies and research facilities on the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and even presence on Pluto. The colonies became more and more self-sufficient and Earth became ever increasingly reliant on them for heavy industrial metals.
In 2219, when the Great Pandemics started, the colonies sealed themselves off Earth: no one from Earth could travel beyond the Legrange transit stations. Humans stranded on Earth were struggling against disease and famine, production infrastructure faltered fossil fuels were exhausted and the biosphere deteriorated. The only safe food supply were the self contained hydroponic systems.
Earth became more dependent on the colonies for fuel and raw materials to sustain them, and merchants just dropped them from orbit with no physical contact, trading data and cultural resources. Eventually even these became worthless as cultural industries fell prey to the general economic and social chaos and the colonies's culture evolved. Popular resentment was growing against the richer and healthier colonists.
The barrier became even stronger with the teachings of Ivar Chu McDaniel, who preached that Earth is Hell and the "Elect" have the sacred duty to migrate to the universe to reach Heaven. His teachings were so popular that in less than a century, the human population throughout the Sol System was diminished to less than 1/4. As the "Pilgrims" were pushing their way into the Vega Sector with their Morvan Drive sloships, Earth attempted to recover from the ecocatastrophe and reestablish its social order.
The quarantine was lifted in 2423 and interaction with the Sol System was reestablished, Earth being hungry for the extraplanetary mineral resources to rebuild its industrial base. The rest of the century was dedicated to recovery rather than exploration or research. Once this came to the Pilgrims' attention, they sent an armed ship over Luna. The resulting Treaty of Luna limited Earth's exploration to other systems.
The Terrans resigned themselves to dome colonization or terraforming of the Sol planets, and about 12 station colonies. There were some incidents concerning treaty violation, to which the Pilgrims responded with violence, such as with the independent diplomatic envoy Iskander and the damaged ships Roxanne and Twelfth Rose which were destroyed by Pilgrim patrols.
However with the discovery of the Akwende Drive, the new Terran Confederation started to explore other star systems for the first time, although the casualties were far higher than the early Pilgrim hoppers. Terrans eventually established jump routes to Hawking and Gemini Sectors far from the Pilgrim sphere. In the 27th century the Port of Titan space station was the main base for all jump-ships.
Earth on Wikipedia
- Chris McCubbin, Official Authorized Wing Commander Confederation Handbook, Every Citizen's Guide to Practical Science
- Chris McCubbin, Official Authorized Wing Commander Confederation Handbook, History of the Pilgrim War
- Chris McCubbin, Official Authorized Wing Commander Confederation Handbook, NAVCOM A.I.
- Action Stations!