The following is the offical story up to this point. It's still being written and is open to suggestions Here.
The year 2027 brought hope to a world on the brink of environmental and political collapse. On the last leg of its funding, NATO’s United Space Mission (USM) made a discovery on the moon that changed the course of human history. A large alloyed sphere, found nestled in a crater under the lunar dawn, is revealed to be an alien artifact containing a message for mankind. As an international team slowly deciphered the artifact, the content of this message began catalyzing a huge leap forward in our sciences. Humanity was abruptly catapulted into a new interstellar age. There are those who now believe we were not ready.
This era saw a surge of optimism, hope, and international cooperation unprecedented in our modern age. Governments and corporations rallied together to construct lunar research stations in preparation for an interstellar launch toward the origin of the message. Big corporate conglomerates pursued mining operations for He3 locked in the moon’s crust; a critical ingredient in the new stellarated fusion reactors being spun up with alien inspired technology.
The USM hosted the Freefall Tournament in a retrofitted hangar bay on its low orbit station, both to prepare their exo-troopers and private mining operators for the rigors of low gravity operations and to generate more excitement and public support for space ventures. Competitors demonstrated the many recent advances in exoskeleton spacesuit technology, and the tournament was deemed a great success. A stadium was built on the Moon soon after by a consortium of defense suppliers looking to showcase their latest no-atmosphere military and mining gear. Only ranked tournament operators were shuttled up to compete. The commercial success of these tournaments drove the consortium to innovate new weapons and exo-suits specific to this new sport.
As the space race became more and more commercialized, politicians and corporate lawyers squabbled over ownership of the new technologies and He3 mining rights across the Sol System. A far-right group called the “Xenots” denied the message was truly of extraterrestrial origins. Their rabid media campaign atic delays, and rampant incompetence further stained the reputation of the United Space Mission.