The Unity Star Ship Rachis is meant to be a survey ship. It's outfitted with the latest in hyperspace engines, capable of stretching farther than their prior expeditions have ever gone.
They're surveying all the planets in this sector, of course, marking down wherever there's irregularities in hyperspace, plotting the routes for science teams to come through with observation stations and robots with telescopes and ansibles.
The most exciting feature - and the reason their crew is surveying this sector so early - is a planet their scientists think should be a rocky planet with a Kris-like gravity, a Kris-like star, and a breathable atmosphere, based on some very complicated analyses of how its star behaves when viewed through a telescope.
The Rachis drops out of hyperspace well clear of any theoretical planets or asteroid belts, and begins working its way into the system, scanning and taking pictures of everything, avian crew fluttering their wings excitedly.