Created By: jatay3March 16, 2012 Last Edited By: jatay3March 20, 2012

Space Scout

Explorers in Space

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Page Type:
Trope
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

This is someone whose profession it is to explore newly discovered worlds. Might be done by a Space Navy, a Space Police, or an organization specifically for the purpose. Might also be done for non-government groups, like Intrepid Merchant s.

Literature

  • Vorkosigan Saga: Cordelia was this before she married Aral

  • Andre Norton's science fiction stories had Survey, a service which searched out and explored new planets. The Survey members best known for these activities were the First-In Scouts, who carried out a unending quest for new worlds and systems.

Live Action TV

  • In Star Trek, Starfleet was originally conceived of as this though it's role as a Space Navy tended to come forward as the show and it's sequels went on.

Tabletop Games

  • Traveller : The Imperial Interstellar Scout Service.

  • In Warhammer 40 K Rogue Traders are part this, part Space Pirate and part Intrepid Merchant.

Web Original Example

  • Chakona Space: The Star Corps is quite separate from Star fleet. The 'Corps' mission is generally exploratory, whereas 'Fleet' tends to be military and interstellar law enforcement.

Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • March 16, 2012
    Bisected8
  • March 16, 2012
    abk0100
    "These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before..."

    Fancy a page quote?
  • March 17, 2012
    jatay3
    good idea
  • March 17, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Without much elaboration, this sounds similar to Wagon Train To The Stars: premise of a work being the exploration of unknown space.
  • March 17, 2012
    TBeholder
    ^ Right, a little blurry.

    IMO, should be more clearly related (as a special category for ship types and agencies) to Standard Sci Fi Fleet - you can find "scout" on that page 5 times, and those examples could go here.
  • March 18, 2012
    Arivne
    Literature
    • Andre Norton's science fiction stories had Survey, a service which searched out and explored new planets. The Survey members best known for these activities were the First-In Scouts, who carried out a unending quest for new worlds and systems.
  • March 18, 2012
    TomWalpertac2
    Web Original Example:
    • Chakona Space: The Star Corps is quite separate from Star fleet. The 'Corps' mission is generally exploratory, whereas 'Fleet' tends to be military and interstellar law enforcement.
  • March 18, 2012
    jatay3
    "IMO, should be more clearly related (as a special category for ship types and agencies) to Standard Sci Fi Fleet - you can find "scout" on that page 5 times, and those examples could go here."

    Quite. It really refers to a sci-fi profession rather then a plotline the way Wagon Train To The Stars (dumb title by the way; star trek doesn't have anything to do with wagon trains, and the enterprise didn't act the way wagon trains did))refers to a plotline. The difference can be told by imagining a story about a space scout doing something besides scouting(say running off to marry a ferocious foreign aristocrat). Such a story would not be Wagon Train To The Stars but it would have a Space Scout in it.
  • March 18, 2012
    jatay3
  • March 18, 2012
    fulltimeD
    I will grant you that the "Space Scout" as a profession rather than a plot premise works, but the description really needs work to distinguish it from very similar and frequently overlapping tropes.

    Trivia: Wagon Train To The Stars originated with Gene Roddenberry's original pitch for Star Trek. He was trying to tie the premise to the popular western series of the time, some of which did follow the wagon trains of pioneers. Roddenberry tried to pitch Star Trek, a Space Opera, as a Space Western instead to try and make sure the pitch was sold and that the people he would have to work with understood that Star Trek wasn't Flash Gordon.

    Of course, the actual series was much more closely an episodic Space Opera, but Wagon Train To The Stars became a term associated with the show and later, other shows with similar premises.
  • March 19, 2012
    jatay3
    Very well, shall we drop this everybody, or rework it?
  • March 19, 2012
    TBeholder
    In itself, it's a type of mission. Which obviously pulls a lot after itself, from it's role in the greater picture (is this done by space explorer/prospector corps? refugees from bureaucraties or wars in search of a new home? traders who hope for a buy-cheap-sell-high opening?) to purely technical aspects (probably will need a ship with extra-long autonomy time and, even with Casual Interstellar Travel, very reliable).

    ^^^^ ^^ That's always tied, one way or another. Much like mentioning a Space Marine implies some organized armed force(s) and probably even proper Space Navy.
  • March 19, 2012
    fulltimeD
    ^ No, it's more like this trope is to Wagon Train To The Stars as the theoretical "Scout Ship" trope would be to "Pilot of Scout Ship." In this case, the "Scout Ship" is a trope, whereas "Pilot of Scout Ship" is People Sit On Chairs. Of course, there's a pilot, unless your ship is specifically a "Drone Ship" (a different trope). The reason I'm against this trope is because I'm against, in general, splitting hairs so finely that the meaning of the word "trope" is lost. I'm generally not a fan of "X is different than XY because X is a profession, and XY is a premise" arguments.
  • March 20, 2012
    AFP
    Why not just Space Explorer? Space Scout makes it sound like a subtrope of Scout Out (The Boy Scouts... IN SPAAAACE!)
  • March 20, 2012
    Koveras
    • The Free Exploration Group in the Noon Universe. It is comprised of adventurous Earthlings who build or acquire private spaceships to go on space exploration. Maxim Kammerer is a member of FEG in Prisoners Of Power and his actions in the book are a major reason why FEG is all but abolished later in the series.

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