The first subspace traveler, Blasky Yao Hsiang, was a solar physicist assigned to the Sol Prima research station by his brother, Sol Force Director Solomon Blasky.
According to the paperwork submitted to oversight committees on Terra, the purpose of the Sol Prima Research Project was "to monitor Sol to determine the cause of the recent sunspot activity and solar flares which have recently shut down communications repeatedly on Terra by disrupting our network of orbital satellites".
In reality, the solar activity had not disturbed the satellites and telescopes significantly. Solomon Blasky had arranged for "equipment failure" of ground-based telescopes and the disruption of the orbiting satellites under his personal control. The "flares" were proposed as an explanation in order to garner the necessary funding for an expensive and ambitious campaign of research in theoretical astrophysics. Gathering a team of gifted and like-minded individuals, he gave his brother Blasky Yao-Hsiang all the money and man-power necessary to design, build and launch the first Node-sensing array. The Sol Prima mission was launched on October 5, 2393.
Blasky Yao-Hsiang had proposed the existence of Node Space as early as 2379, in a Master's Thesis submitted to the Europa Institute. With his Sol Prima array, he hoped to prove the existence of this "subspace dimension" by opening a small Node portal while in the sharply curving slope of Sol's enormous gravity well.
The first experiment with the Sol Prima probe succeeded beyond his wildest expectations. One of the station’s hardened research pods had been fitted with his ring-shaped scanning array. The pod was launched from the station with Blasky aboard to operate the controls, while the rest of the station’s 18-man crew eagerly monitored their screens.
The moment that Blasky’s scan was initiated, however, the tiny research craft disappeared from view, and was no longer detectable by any means available to the Sol Prima monitoring station. Fearing that their team leader had suffered a catastrophic equipment failure or lost power, the station quickly dispatched a rescue team to search for the ship and the precious scanning array, hoping to recover the man and his equipment before a decaying orbit could drop both into the sun’s corona.
After several minutes of frantic scan-and-search, the Sol Prima science vessel received a feeble signal from Blasky’s pod. The scientist’s calm voice was heard from a distance of over 800 million kilometers. In less than ten seconds, he had been miraculously transported from a close orbit of Sol to a close orbit around the nearby gas giant Jupiter.
For the next two hours, as his team of solar scientists desperately attempted to find some means of reaching and rescuing their comrade, Blasky made a series of burst transmissions to the nearby Storm Watch probe in Jupiter’s orbit. The full-length recording of these transmissions is still played to first-year students of Node Mechanics, and can be a highly emotional experience for those who have never heard them before.
As Blasky’s probe slowly descended into Jupiter’s atmosphere, the scientist gave a highly detailed account of his experience in Node Space, describing the gravitational “current” which seemed to pull him away from Sol’s orbit with blinding speed. He expressed his regret in having expended so much fuel fighting this astounding gravimetric pull, and speculated that his pod might have traveled much further had he not engaged thrust to fight the current within the “starstream”.
When Blasky could add no further detail to his description of Node Space, he calculated the volume of fuel he had expended in resisting the gravitational flux, and the distance and direction he had traveled. His tentative conclusion was that the force acting upon his ship had been the gravitational pull of the nearby star Wolf 359. Later experiments in subspace travel supported this hypothesis, as Wolf 359 was the nearest node in Sol’s subspace chain, but in recent years it has been suggested that Blasky may also have entered a micro-Node between Sol and Jupiter.
After carefully re-checking his data, including the level of energy he had used to initiate his solar scan, Blasky ejected his data core with the ship’s tracking beacon attached. He died several minutes later in the crushing depths of Jupiter’s liquid hydrogen sea. The amazing discovery and tragic death of this remarkable scientist became the planet-wide impetus for a return to manned space exploration. Solomon Blasky argued passionately in the months immediately following the accident that the budget cuts which had forced Sol Force to place only an unmanned probe in Jupiter’s orbit, rather than a manned research facility, had cost his brother his life.