When does overdue become “lost in space”?

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Greetings!

I am adding a Google Calendar widget to The Nostromo Files Blog so I (at the least) can know “what happened relative to Nostromo today in future history”, using events from Scott Middlebrook’s great The Alien Universe Timeline site.

As I entered dates, I got to wondering, — when I saw Scott’s speculation about when the Nostromo was reported missing: given the time dilation effect of space travel, and the amount of time in which even a minor course error might result, it is interesting to think how long interstellar companies might allow before crying “lost”.

I’m thinking if a ship did go off course while the crew was in hypersleep, the computer could message back home to let them know.

(Or maybe that’s a trigger for a partial crew wakeup.)

I’m sure the Company didn’t declare the ship lost until they’d exhausted all possible avenues of  information, but it is possible that a crew could be off-course in (space and time) but still very much alive and well.

Imagine the impact might that have on their families…

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