Beyond the Stars
The Sol System is home to Earth, the original point of departure for humanity. Despite this origin, Earth has remained nearly uninhabited for many generations. Prior to the development of interstellar travel and first contact with other sapient species, humanity had managed to develop some colonies on Earth’s moon, Luna, and on the nearby planet of Mars. Between squabbling for increasingly rare resources that developed into numerous wars between the divided nations of Earth, and rampant unchecked pollution since the dawning of Earth’s Industrial Age, the planet was unable to support the future growth of humanity. Once humanity joined the greater galaxy and colonization of other words began Earth increasingly became a backwater planet, remembered fondly only by some who had once lived there. At this point, Earth is remembered best as ancient history and in biological textbooks discussing the evolutionary foundation of flora and fauna introduced by humanity into the greater galaxy.
The pollution on Earth remains mainly in place, and thick bands of “space junk” orbit the planet leftover from early human space exploration. Toxic smog chokes the planet and can be so thick that the sun is blotted out of the noonday sky. Breath masks and hazard suits are recommended for extended visits to Earth. There are some teams of archelogists and other scientists who live and work on the planet and there is a small travel industry for beings who are curious about the origins of humanity. The early colonies on Luna and Mars are also part of this travel industry, and are better preserved than most Earth sites.