The mission is projected to last about five subjective years. However, all potential crewmen have been made fully aware of the nature of subjective time, and that this will translate to approximately 60 years as reckoned on the Entaine homeworld.
The purpose of bidding on the ability to go on the mission was two fold. First the winning bidder was allowed access to much of the frightenly advanced technology of the Sphere. Secondly the intelligent race that first discovers a new sentient race or culture is usually allowed exclusive trade relations with their “find” for a short time. Usually the next 1000 years. With an estimated 30 million worlds of surface area, The Home world could have access to thousands of cultures all of whom would need the tools and technology that the sphere could provide.