I'm writing a short story, and I have the general idea secure in my mind. I just need a reason that ships (bare essential small cramped ships) manned by two people are being sent on long journeys into the middle of nowhere in space. The thing is that I think I want the ships to be almost completely automated so that the people inside have no control over where they go, but I need them to have a purpose. Maybe analyzing data or something? Or are they just there for simple repairs? I don't know enough about this stuff to have an idea that I really firmly like. Suggestions please.