Elite Dangerous is gearing up for its most ambitious update yet with the Odyssey expansion coming later this year, and the team has taken to its blog to detail some of the new mechanics around the expansion.
A mechanic, called First Footfall, will record the exploration of the Milky Way galaxy and those who first made...well...footfall on the particular world. This system ensures that those first footfalls on a new, unexplored world, will be credited to the player who made the discovery.
This obviously won't affect any of the star systems and their planets currently in Human territory, but seeing as Elite Dangerous boasts over 400 million star systems (and according to the team, players have only been to 201 million of these - just around 0.05% of the total systems in game), there will be plenty of opportunities to stake your claim. Frontier is reiterating as well that not every planet will offer you the ability to disembark, citing survivabiity of the planet's environment, temperature, gravity and more, but for those planets that will allow for it, the first human player to set foot on the surface will be rewarded with being credited for the discovery.
First Footfall is only recorded on a planetary level, so discovering points of interest won't count either. Additionally, players who crew or land on a planet at the same time won't share credit - it's the first player down the ladder who will be immortalized in game for the First Footfall achievement.
You can check out the full FAQ on the Elite Dangerous forums for more information.