With the Traveler having visited Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury, humanity wanted to see the Traveler, codenamed "Moon X", in action to observe it. The mission was created, and originally named "Project Catamaran". There were four humans serving as the mission's crew: Jacob Hardy, M. Mihaylova, Evie Calumet, and Ulysses Qiao, Hardy being captain, Qiao navigator, Calumet a physicist to predict the Travelers movement, and Mihalyova the creator of the mission AI. At first, people were unsure if the Traveler would stop at Mars at all, but it was approved regardless to analyze if the Traveler posed a threat.
On Launch day, Dr. Calumet died due to an electrical fire, leaving the crew at only three. The launch date was pushed back by one day, and the mission renamed Ares One. While operating, a twenty minute communications delay forced the Ares 1 crew to land on their own. While searching for a safe location to land, there was a malfunction in engine three which Qiao and Mihaylova manually corrected, as Hardy landed the ship. They then left their ship armed with rifles and proceeded on foot.
At the top of a ridge, they saw the Traveler making it rain on the desert world as it terraformed the planet. Hardy was amazed at the Traveler's power, and believed it was the key to advancement. Later, humanity would live on Mars and other worlds the Traveler touched, bringing about the Golden Age.
- The motto of the mission was the Latin phrase "Erit Fortis" which in English translates to "It will be strong".