The mysterious ground base shown for a brief moment in the latest Elite: Dangerous trailer for patch 2.4 shown during the Frontier Expo has been found!

The signs on the structure clearly show the origins and the initial owners of the base - INRA. During the first war with the Thargoids, INRA developed from a cutting-edge science organisation to the vanguard of humanity's struggle against the alien aggressors. Elite pilots were recruited from across human space and given the most advanced ships and technologies to help fend off the enemy.

In the end however, it was INRA's research roots that won the war: a Mycoid virus was developed and delivered to the Thargoid home world by a courageous INRA pilot. The virus destroyed the Thargoid's organic hyperdrives, halting them in their tracks and excluding them from hyperspace travel. The scattered pockets of Thargoid infestation were systematically eliminated.

With the end of the Thargoid War, INRA was officially disbanded, it's veterans spreading to the corners of the galaxy to continue to gather fame as elite pilots or to degenerate and live off telling tall tales in dingy bars.

After the war ended, all was not as it seemed however; INRA was still active, keeping an eye on human exploration of space. It knew that humanity should never explore out to where the Thargoids home world was, for fear of another war. Nor should humanity discover the despicable, virtually genocidal way that INRA had won the war.

Their silent vigil was without problem until the 3250's when Mic Turner and Meredith Argent, owners of the AAAI Shipyards in Alioth decided to find out exactly what happened to the Thargoids. Together, they designed and built a ship far beyond anything ever constructed in civilian shipyards. This ship had the ability to travel to the Thargoid home world. When the Turners Quest left human space, INRA hunted it down and destroyed it, killing Mic Turner.

Undeterred, the Argent's Quest took off with an unknown pilot and managed to discover the alien home world and cure their diseased hyperdrives, allowing peaceful contact between the two species. INRA continues to watch events in human space, operating in the dark, always beyond the knowledge of both civilians and standard military.

The planetary base can be found in the Hermitage system, planet 4A (-53.7502, 157.6120) and contains some science logs from Bexley Prince, the chief Researcher.

Technology testing 1/4

...Bypassing security protocols...
...Secure connection established...
Personal log Bexley Prince, Chief Researcher

We received a very exciting delivery today: pieces of recovered Thargoid technology, even fragments of spacecraft. Most of the samples are damaged, but we should still be able to put them to good use.

Thargoid technology is, in many respects, far more advanced than our own. Understanding it could open up all kinds of possibilities and rapidly accelerate our own development. Space travel, energy, weapons, even medicine - the applications are potentially limitless.

I suspect there's a key discovery to be made, one that will open up the aliens' technology to us. Who knows? Perhaps I'll be the one to make it.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. There's lots of work to be done before we can start popping champagne corks. I've given the research teams their assignments. Let's see what they can find out.

Technology testing 2/4

...Bypassing security protocols...
...Secure connection established...
Personal log Bexley Prince, Chief Researcher

Progress is slow and much of what we knew about the Thargoids - or thought we knew - has to be revised. But I suppose that's to be expected.

We now have twelve active research projects, focusing on a number of different areas. I find myself growing impatient with some of my colleagues, but that's the problem with being a perfectionist. I set high standards for myself, and I expect others to do the same

Technology testing 3/4

...Bypassing security protocols...
...Secure connection established...
Personal log Bexley Prince, Chief Researcher

Phase three has been a failure. I sincerely believed we were making progress, but just because something works in theory does not mean it will work in practice.

There have also been issues with the junior researchers. Some of them think they're being monitored, and one... one actually believes she's being held here against her will. Of course, those who have worked in this sector before know that is not the case.

Naturally our employers keep an eye on us - the work we're doing is extremely sensitive. We're researching alien technology, after all. It's a question of security.

Some people can find a conspiracy in anything.

Technology testing 4/4

...Bypassing security protocols...
...Secure connection established...
Personal log Bexley Prince, Chief Researcher

Our employers have become preoccupied with one of the research projects, although I've repeatedly told them it's a dead end. It isn't even an official project - it's just something that one of the junior researchers cooked up in his spare time.

He's a specialist in agricultural science, trying to wipe out famine or something. Apparently, he's created a biological agent that incapacitates the alien technology. Here we are, devoting millions of credits and countless hours to understanding this technology, and he's trying to destroy it. If it were up to me I'd cut him from the project entirely, but our employers seem to think his work has merit.