NASA and so many others flew out to Alpha Centauri and Epsilon Indi and so many other systems on rocket ships, barely touching the barest depths of hyperspace for fear of running afoul of a rogue gravity wave.  We lost many ships scouting safe routes for the colony missions and transports to take.  A generation of our bravest men and women went where no one had gone before, just to see what was out there, knowing they might never come back.  They were truly amazing.