By the early decades of the twenty-first century, the problems of over-population, antibiotic-resistant epidemics, civil war, cyberterrorism, nuclear proliferation, and climate change have set Earth on a path of escalating disasters.
In the year 2025AD, ten men and women come together to address these problems. These powerful leaders each have enormous personal wealth that they made in a variety of commercial enterprises around the globe. What they have in common besides their great wealth is a deep pessimism about the future of Earth and an enormous optimism about space exploration as the only viable solution for the continuation of humankind. To that end, these men and women, who call themselves the Founders, begin the Paradisi Project.
The purpose of the Paradisi Project is the colonization of New Eden, a recently discovered planet in the Andromeda Galaxy that scientists deem capable of sustaining human life. Fearing interference from various factions on Earth, the Founders hide their ultimate goals from the public by the fiction that their activities are only to set up viable commercial colonies on the Moon and Mars. The real goals of the project are passed down from the head of each family to their successors and close advisers, who act in concert as the Council of Ten.
The Paradisi Project harnesses the best minds on Earth to develop the scientific breakthroughs in interstellar travel and wormhole technology needed to transport the ten Founding Families, and the necessary personnel and resources, to establish a viable colony on New Eden. Once there, their mission will be to ensure that this new colony doesn’t make the same mistakes that are destroying Earth.
Solar Horizons is set up as the public face of the ten. But, as far as the public knows, its mission is Mars and its moons. Solar Command sends its first manned mission through the wormhole, and the detailed reports from Captain Sideris on SS Casindra confirm and fill out the long-distance reports from the unmanned mission, until they lose contact.
A second manned mission is launched through the wormhole, with 500 passengers covering a range of essential specializations, but SS Moraturi is never heard from again.