One of the Original 13 colony ships, Earth lost contact with the Hernando De Soto (Soto for short) 54 years into it's mission. Unlike the lost seven colony ships, this one actually reached it's destination and started a successful, if small, colony. It's long range transmitter was damaged beyond repair by an accidental explosion on the lower decks. The explosion unfortunately damaged the colonization equipment and guidance thrusters(the thrusters are only needed when a colony ship actually reached it's destination) as well. The crew decided to go ahead with the mission; they were too far away from Earth to turn back.