THE ENCYCLOPEDIA GALACTICA
THE MAGELLAN SOCIETY
The origins of the Magellan Society are lost in the mists of time. It is named after the pre-atomic era Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, whose ship the Victoria was the first to sail completely round the Earth. Magellan himself was killed by natives in the Pacific. Of the 270 men and five ships that set out, only one ship with less than 20 survivors completed the voyage.
In the last 400 years the society has risen to prominence as one of the two primary organisers of expeditions (the other is the Galactic Administration's space navy).
The society sponsors expeditions and offers grants to member explorers who participate in its activities. The society has its own orbital space station known, unsurprisingly, as 'Magellan'. Income from the satellite's facilities and treasures brought back by expeditions constitute the main source of the society's income.
Membership of the society is open to all who can complete the society's entrance test. The test usually takes the form of a series of clues which would be members have to solve by travelling to, and exploring, the various inhabited bodies in the Sol System. Those wishing to try their hand at the test should talk to the society's adjudicator, who can usually be found at the society's permanent exhibition in Earth's main starport.
Each year, on the 6th of September, the society sponsors a 'Magellan Day', this being the date that the Victoria sailed back into harbour after circling the Earth.
Further information about Ferdinand Magellan, and a contemporary report on his voyage can be found at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1519magellan.html.