The highly coveted Station Hutton Orbital coffee mug.

The original game Elite came out in 1984 (and can be found on innumerable abandonware sites), and in each incarnation, interstellar trade was a huge part of the game. It’s no different today in Elite: Dangerous, released in December of 2014. One of the best ways to make money is in the trading of extremely valuable, extremely compact commodities. What makes an item valuable? It’s hard to get. One of the things that makes something hard to get is being sourced from very, very – very – far away. Like an orbital station out in the furthest reaches of human-explored space.

The Hutton Mug is the official coffee mug of Station Hutton Orbital. The station itself is a tiny place, an independent mining outpost near Alpha Centauri, operating by a faction called the Hutton Orbital Trucking Co-Op. It has only three landing bays.

The station’s primary claim to fame is being so far outside the Bubble (that’s what the volume of human-explored space is called in-game). Well, that and this coffee mug, and that the members of the Hutton Truckers do their commerce based entirely on this one item. Their motto is “No journey too long, no cargo too small.” They don’t care much about the profit margins, really, but the value of the Hutton Mug once you get one to the opposite side of the galaxy more than makes up for that.

Delivered over vast distances for immense profit, the mug is sold only to ship commanders willing to make the painfully long journey out to Hutton Orbital to get one. Made of salvaged frame shift drive plates  from the ships that ran out of fuel on their way to the station, it is sold to station and planet inhabitants as a commemorative token of the epic journey undertaken.

This player cooperative has its own web site, its own small radio station designed exclusively for players of Elite: Dangerous, and esprit de corps enough to fly their ships without the fuel from their tanks. They had the amazing and equally epic singer / songwriter Cmdr Hugh Mann write them their own theme, and here it is. This will get your blood pumping. Pause the stream, hit play on this thing and crank it.

Elite: Dangerous has a number of PwP groups, but Hutton Orbital is one of the most unusual. The station itself remains in operation in large part due to supply runs made by altruistic commanders who keep them well stocked. You can go to their web site to find out how to join up.


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