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This timeline has been calculated after some months of research. It is based as much as can be possible on only canon information taken from the manuals and novellae that were supplied with official Elite-related games (Elite, Frontier, FFE). The notes from the research can be found by using the links above for the Appendices.

The material in this timeline is usable under the Creative Commons license, the full terms of which can be found at the bottom of this page (and every page of the site).

NOTE: This timeline is gradually being rendered obsolete by the continuing evolution of the Elite: Dangerous back-story. I will leave it in place for historical reasons, and for those who wish to continue the "legacy" of original Elite for their own fan fiction or other projects. I will likely develop a new timeline that will retain continuity for the upcoming game.

Black Text: taken from Elite Manual
Green Text: Conjectural, calculated from information at hand.
Blue Text: from Frontier or FFE Information
Red text: from Imprint Novella (included with Elite +)

Before 2500 Lakon Spaceways MC15 transporter enters service. Original prototype known to have been built in Mars orbitspace (in the Sol system).
Circa 2500 Declining political relations prompt the Far Colonies (or Old Worlds, as the inhabitants of the area have christened their sector of space) to declare independence from the Galactic Empire.  Ties with the Galactic Federation and the Duval Empire are officially severed.  Far Colonies ships and personnel are declared persona non-grata and open hostilities greet any trespassers.  Far Colony  navigation systems are set not to show any worlds of either Federation of Empire on star charts, and all relevant locations are locked out of hyperdrive guidance systems
2545 Discovery of stable wormhole leading to what is thought to be another galaxy.  The next five years see the discovery of a network of stable wormholes joining a total of eight galaxies together.
2573 The first colonisation fleets are dispatched to survey and populate the newly found galaxies
2589 Astronomical study reveals that the galaxies are, in fact, located in our own galaxy, spread across three different spiral arms, including the Perseus Arm.  The name ‘galaxies’ sticks, however.
2627 First manufacture of IGH unit, allowing creation of a hyperspace branch to the stable wormhole from any area of the currently occupied galaxy.  The IGH unit is too large to fit to small vessels, and is only fitted to larger colonisation and exploration vessels.
2663 Xexor Industries successfully test the first IGH unit small enough to fit on any hyperspace capable vessel.  Despite the extortionate cost and mediocre safety margin of the unit, Xexor Industries receive over a hundred thousand advance orders in the week following the announcement of the test’s success.
2696 Passing of Galactic Co-operative of Worlds CharterThe Far Colonies become the Galactic Co-operative Of Worlds.  This body is designed to hold jurisdiction over activities within the spacelanes of the eight galactic sectors, but will have no rule over the individual member worlds.
2700 Whatt and Pritney Python enters service. The Python is the first of the modular construction design vessels, specifically designed for ease of manufacture and longevity of design.
2715 publishing of a report proposing a ratified trading system within GalCop
2741 Formation of a unified police force under GalCop jurisdiction. The mandate for this organisation is a standardised force to be present in each GalCop member system to help control illegal trade and pirate activities.
2752 GASEC, based on Vetitice, complete the first functional Coriolis station in orbit around Lave.
2762 Faulcon Manspace Viper enters service.
2845 Kroweki & Carr's ‘PsychoHistory and Economic Theory in the GalFederation’ published
2849 First contact with Thargoid vessels.  Intermittent contact with lone vessels becomes common through the following year.  GalCop Federal Law Centres record a great many attacks on these strange octagonal ships – on occasion with no provocation from the Thargoid party.  Victories against the alien vessels are few.
2851 First recorded Thargoid invasion of a system.  War is declared, and the Galactic Navy is mobilised.
2852 Ace & Faber Gecko enters service
2855 Paynou, Prossett and Salem Cobra Mk I enters service
2856 RimLiner Galactic Anaconda enters service.  Saud-Kruger Orbit Shuttle enters service.
2870-75 Thargoid war settles into a collection of war zones and frontiers.  This situation would remain more or less unchanged in GalCop space for the next 300 years.
2878 GalCop Workshops Asp Mk II enters service
2914 Outworld Workshops Adder enters service
2982 Onrira Orbital / Spalder and Starblaze Sidewinder enters service.
2987 Prototype Lance & Ferman homing missile successfully tested during Ineran Wars
2990 Emperor Duval attempts to negotiate personal truce with Thargoids.  Federation officials are also rumoured to be carrying out similar missions.
3017 Gerege Federation Workshops Boa enters service
3027 Faulcon deLacy Krait enters service.
3028 Marine Trench Company Moray Star Boat enters service
3100 Cowell & MgRath Cobra Mk III enters service.  Zorgon Petterson Group Fer-de-Lance enters service
3101 Worm class landing craft enters service – multiple manufacturers.
3105 Peter Jameson born on Lave (conjectural, assumes Jameson qualifies at age 20.
3110 Reorte Ship Federation Mamba enters service.
3115 Elite combateer Jason Ryder killed by pirate attack.
3122 Upgrades to hyperspace systems and shipboard computer controls are completed – Faraway jump system is no longer required, and the systems are retired.
3124 Trantor House publish Jane's Galactic Ships and Remote Colonial Construction, 5th Edition. Publishing code is 3205.  (The 3205 number mentioned can’t be a date, as Elite is set before Frontier, and Frontier starts in 3200).
3125 Commander Peter Jameson begins career as space trader. (start of the original Elite game)
3130 GalCop begins a programme of retrofitting some out of date space faring equipment to older vessels.  At the same time, satellite and comms buoys are upgraded.
3134 Modern Galactic Mean Time is established.


By the start of this year, records show that nearly all active space vessels have been upgraded. Modifications include higher resolution viewscreens and console displays, more efficient shied generators and energy units and enhanced comms systems, including HoloFac upgrades.
3147 Peter Jameson Junior, Commander Jameson's second child, is born (conjectural - assumes twenty or so years of his chosen career (one that he loved) before considering children).
3149 GalCop suffers massive losses in Thargoid attacks.  Negotiations are opened with the Galactic Federation and the Duval Empire for aid in the wars.  The Federation and Empire are having increasing trouble with Thargoid incursions, but not with full-scale war zones such as GalCop has seen.
3150 The Federation agree to aid GalCop and offer technology exchanges as a means to achieve the defeat of the Thargoids.  Later the same year, the Empire extends a similar offer to the Federation deal.  GalCop accept.
3151 Thargoids defeated, presumed eradicatedBioweapons are thought to have been used.
3162 GalCop’s economy begins to collapse.
3164 During this year, the stable wormhole connecting Galaxy 1 to Galaxy 2 and thence to the rest of the seven Galaxies collapses.  It is thought highly likely that the collapsing was engineered.  Galaxy 1 stands alone.  GalCop is reduced from over 2040 worlds to less than 200. GalCop is a shadow of its former self and no longer a threat to either Federation or Empire.  The Exile remains in force.
3165 It is discovered that the alien races once indigenous to the Far Colonies region of space have gone.  Those worlds that had human colony areas become human worlds as the colonies spread out.  Those that did not now stand abandoned.  It is surmised that they departed for Galaxy 2, somehow managing to find a method of travelling there.  Humanity stands alone once more.
3169 By now, GalCop has been further reduced by internal problems, political issues and pressures from the larger and more ruthless Federation and Empire.  Many worlds leave GalCop and ally themselves with one of the other organisations.  Some world governments decide to become independent.  Some colonies leave their worlds and make for new homes within Federation or Imperial space. 
3170 Since GalCop as a political entity no longer exists, both Federation and Empire lift the exile on GalCop worlds.  A fine of 75,000 credits remains to be paid by any native of the 11 ‘Old Worlds’ centred on Lave who wishes to dock at a spaceport in either organisation.  These eleven systems maintain tight relations, forming an unofficial trade and protection alliance – much like the original alliance that grew into GalCop.
3174 The Galactic Co-operative of Worlds president officially rescinds the GCW charter on the 19th August.  The resources of the organisation (such as the Navy and Police forces) are auctioned to the Federation.
3177 Peter Jameson Jr has a son - this son will be 23 in 3200, and will inherit an Eagle class ship from his grandfather along with the rest of his siblings and cousins (conjectural, based on supposition for Jameson generations).
3199 Commander Peter Jameson dies, leaving vessels and space flight licences to his grandchildren, set to begin at the start of the next year.