The Aquarius Initiative, also called Operation Aquarius, is a long term plan to employ private pilots and starship captains to survey and explore known and unknown space. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to map out new star systems for potential colonization. To do this the initiative will recruit private pilots dubbed Nauta Stellarum or Sailor of Stars but often this is shortened to Nauta as a title and can be used instead of captain. The program has been designed specifically with Artificial Intelligences in mind.
Under the program Solas Tempus signs a contract with the pilots and grants them a scout ship, usually an Archer Class Starship, and agrees to fund the exploration of unknown space for a minimum period of 5 years. In exchange the pilot gives Solas Tempus first rights to any information found along the way and agrees to accept specific missions from Solas Tempus / the Serenity Concord. Acceptable missions are negotiated with each pilot, though generally it is agreed that the mission will not be life threatening and should not harm the reputation of the pilot.
Dimensional Fold Drive
One of the key technologies of Solas Tempus is the Dimensional Fold Drive, which the Archer Class is designed with. Under this initiative, the drive system is prevented from achieving time travel through the use of various hardware and software blocks. Pilots are prohibited under the terms of the agreement from using the drive system for time travel and from allowing anyone other than Solas Tempus to inspect, examine, or otherwise work on the drive system. Pilots can also choose to have the DFD system removed and replaced with a comparable Warp Drive system.
During the 5 year term, the pilot gains credits toward the purchase of their space vessel. In most cases the pilot will have the option to retain complete ownership of the vessel at the end of the 5 year term, though if the pilot opts to accept more dangerous missions (should they be offered) they may be able to transfer ownership earlier.