The Kuiper Belt Exploration Program, abbreviated as KBEP, is a program launched by NASA and other space companies in 2045 with the first manned mission being launched to Pluto. The program has been involved with the colonisation of Pluto, Eris, Makemake, Haumea and Sedna throughout the 21st century.
After many debates on how to move further into the Solar System, NASA had gathered all space companies on Earth and plan out a new program to uncover new dwarf planets/minor bodies of the outer Solar System, even debating the idea of progressing into the Oort Cloud; a gigantic cloud about a light year away that is the source of all long-period comets.
NASA announced in February 2045 that they had launched the new program and that plans for a new propulsion device were in works (see the Warp Drive, invented in 2059).
The first mission involved the first space probe placed into orbit around Pluto scanning the surface for a suitable colony location. After a year of scanning the surface, they found a location suitable for a small human colony which could support about twenty humans, a good start to an increasing population over the coming years.
One of the first missions were all to Pluto, including it's colonisation in 2060. These included orbital probes, space stations, robotic landers and rovers. In 2059, after the invention of the Warp Drive, a space station was placed in orbit around Pluto with five humans on board, monitoring oxygen levels, scans of the dwarf planet below them and detecting any incoming micro-meteorites. This eventually led to the first humans stepping on the icy surface of Pluto.
The largest dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt, Eris was colonised in 2065 following the recent fly-by of a space probe a few months earlier. A space station was placed into orbit around the dwarf planet which aided the colonisation. The first human to step on to the surface of Eris stared at the distant Sun and said with awe: "The human race is expanding, and nothing can stop us."
Haumea, the most oblated object found, is another Kuiper Belt which was colonised in 2070. Like the other Kuiper Belt objects, colonisation followed the arrival of numerous space probes and a new space station. Haumea was difficult to colonise due to its strange shape, so colonies were limited to the polar regions.
Another Kuiper Belt object, Makemake was colonised in 2075, following the recent close encounter of a previous space probe, which has entered interstellar space by now. A space station orbits closely to the dwarf planet, aiding any spacecraft in leaving the gravitational pull of Makemake.
The most distant object found in the Solar System, Sedna serves as mining world for interstellar missions. Although warp drives have entered the space industry, the mining stations instead fuel probes that scan incoming comets from the Oort Cloud or even extra-terrestrial spacecraft. It was colonised in 2080 after several landers and rovers were sent to the surface.
After 2080 C.E.Edit
Once Sedna, the most distant object in the Solar System, was colonised, NASA and other space companies had no where else to go. The Solar System was almost 100% catalogued and scanned. KBEP was soon abandoned in 2081. Following its demise were several new space companies, now aiming to colonise the stars and Earth-like planets orbiting them.
NASA and other space companies in the 2030's and 2040's had started to debate the idea of initiating the development of a new program that would help the human race progress into the outer Solar System. This involved ideas of mining the dwarf planets for their resources which can help construct new spaceships and even colonies. They discussed plans of paying Pluto another visit due and then moving towards Eris, the largest dwarf planet in the Solar System. During the debate, they hoped to catalogue all known objects in the Solar System but realising there are trillions of comets and asteroids, it was believed to be impossible.