When I signed off, I said that I'd make a few jumps in the morning. Well, I lied. I kinda just kept jumping while talking with the Path Rangers, a few experienced members of the Elite Dangerous Discord, and a few personal friends who are much more experienced in the mechanics of the game than I am.
I learned two major things:
1) The density of systems changes drastically depending on what specific part of the galaxy you're in. In the Sagittarius Gap, the most efficient route was for the Apollo to make 15 LY jumps straight across. In other portions of the trip, such as Entry 4, the most efficient route was to snake through 5-8 LY jumps, drastically cutting down on fuel usage.
This isn't something we can avoid, as taking detours to avoid these low density areas would cost far more than it's worth compared to just trekking through them. But it does explain why the fuel efficiency might suddenly shoot up or down when I don't expect it to.
2) A ship similar to the Apollo, with a ~70 LY jump range, was tested in / near Colonia. The ship ended up using just 1.7 tons of fuel to cross 130.56 LY of space, a fuel efficiency of 78.8 LY/T! Thank you so much to Lukavago of the Path Rangers for the test, it helps a lot to know what's ahead of us.
The Apollo will reach a jump distance of ~70 LY when the fuel tank reaches 100T/468T. If the fuel efficiency is even close to consistent when approaching the center of the galaxy, we should have enough fuel to make it. The trip requires a cumulative average fuel efficiency of 55.55 LY/T, and I'm optimistic that it's reachable.
The Apollo is in the least efficient portion of the trip. It's heavy, the systems it must trek through are sparse, and I was honestly pretty distracted while piloting it. As the journey continues, I expect the cumulative efficiency of ~34.9 to increase dramatically.
Holy fuck I jumped a lot yesterday. I'll be including some rough values in these update posts, but the bulk of the data will be listed in the Google Sheets document which has a more detailed breakdown and some analysis courtesy of u/Nekito97, but for reference Day 2 concluded in Entry 3. As of writing this we're currently in Entry 5, 3,037 LY from Quince.
As I wrote earlier, I'm optimistic on these numbers. I want this trip to succeed, and it seems like everything is in my favor. Short of exploding or falling asleep at the helm, I'm certain the Apollo will reach DSSA Rocksteady in Prooe Hypue FH-U e3-2. From there, there aren't any major hurdles between us and Sag A*.
Starting Location: BLU THUA NE-G C11-3 – 1,665 / ~26,000
Ending Location: SMOJAI JQ-Z B28-0 – 3,037 / ~26,000
Starting Fuel: 417 / 468 T
Ending Fuel: 381 / 468 T
Starting mood: Suspicious
Ending mood: Tired, but optimistic.