Explorers are tasked with traveling into Space and the Gateway, looking for ruins, life (friendly or hostile), or simply anything else interesting. They then report back with their findings. The job requires a varied set of skills to do well at, as Explorers are often required to hack into old ruins or derelict craft, defend themselves from hostile life, and treat their own injuries in the field.
Becoming an Explorer
At the beginning of the shift, there are no Explorers, nor is it possible to join as one after the shift begins. The only way to become an explorer is to ask the Head of Personnel for a transfer. If you're seeking to enter the Gateway, the Captain must give their permission to open the Gateway, which Standard Operating Procedure says should only be done on code green. The Captain may set additional restrictions, like limiting the number of explorers. Assuming your transfer is granted, you must hand in all significant items from your former job, notably any department headset you have. Do this BEFORE you leave the station. You can get basic headsets from the locker room, or have one printed from an autolathe.
Before you leave the station, drop by EVA, cargo and/or medical, to pick up supplies. Do NOT take anything that cannot be replaced, and if in doubt, always ask before you take something. Max your suit sensors. Consider carrying a GPS, if one is available - they can be printed by Research and Development. If exploring space, asking the Mechanic to build you a space pod can be very helpful. Additionally, bringing a buddy, ideally someone you trust, can significantly increase your chances of survival. If you find a dangerous location, asking for a weapons permission can help, though keep in mind you should never expect the Captain nor the Head of Security to grant it without extensive questioning.
Dealing With Security
Anything illegal found while exploring is still illegal, and Security can confiscate it, or charge you with carrying contraband if you do not turn it in voluntarily. Special mention goes to obvious Contraband items like cult or Syndicate equipment. If you walk around carrying any of these, you should expect to be arrested at the MINIMUM. That being said, it IS possible to have a constructive relationship with Security as an Explorer. Simply exercise some common sense and don't do anything that would get you confused with an antagonist - for example, S class contraband marks you as an enemy of the corporation regardless of the circumstances, and you will likely be treated as such.
An antagonist Explorer has the benefit of being able to "borrow" the equipment associated with their previous job, in addition to gearing up using whatever they find during their travels. Space ruins can contain various useful items, such as weapons, armor, and medical supplies. Away missions in the Gateway are similar, though some are more useful than others. Possible loot includes Syndicate and Cult gear, which can be used as a decoy by other types of antagonists.
EVA access is not to be underestimated either, as space is a perfect place to hide yourself, or your target's body - Security is severely limited in their options when it comes to chasing spaceborne criminals. While building a Cult base on other Z-levels than the station has its drawbacks, a secret room can still be built in empty space somewhere around the station.