I have returned from my first exploration expedition in Elite: Dangerous. I'm putting a checkmark here: huge success.
Financially, I made over 7.8 million credits. I spent about that much buying and outfitting my Asp Explorer for the trip, so I’m very happy with that. Exploration is not an easily lucrative venture—yes, you can make money by “farming” more valuable stars, but it takes much more time to make the same amount of money you can get through bounty hunting or trading. This being my first trip, I had no concept of how much money I was likely to make. I would have been happy to make 1 or 2 million credits (as it was, when I left I was perilously close to the buyback cost of my ship—well above, but enough for only one buyback). Nearly 8 million left me quite comfortable.
Making the Journey
I left from Alioth on February 29, 3302. After much consideration, I decided to go to Barnard’s Loop, via the Witch Head Nebula. My Asp had everything I needed for exploring, but I could not afford an A-rated FSD, limiting my jump range to about 22 ly with a good tank of…