Hyperspace theory suggests that every system is connected to every other system, but in practice most jumplines require prohibitive amounts of energy. In fact, jumping draws more power than most starship power plants produce, and ships are equipped with capacitors which must be recharged after a jump. Drives are rated for the longest jump they can make. No ship in the 12 Worlds can perform more than Jump-5, and most only Jump-3 or -4. (Many people hope that perfection of a Jump-6 drive will regain contact with the rest of humanity.)
Scouting consists of locating a jump point, turning on the drive, and trying to figure out where you ended up. It can be a risky business. Scouts also survey planets for their suitability to human colonization.
Right after the Sundering, considerable resources were devoted to finding an alternate route back to the Confederation. None was located, although in ???? the scoutship Flying Saucer made contact with the Vnu.
Info Plaza David Dunham Page Twelve Worlds