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I can't remember the title of this story. It was about an expedition in a low-tech spacecraft to a nearby star with a potentially habitable planet. The journey would take several hundred years.

Along the way, each astronaut would wake up from cryogenic sleep from time to time, to perform some duties. One of them wakes up just as the craft is passing an asteroid, takes a few photos, and I vaguely remember him finding out that the man who invented their cryogenic pods... died in one.

The asteroid happens to be a passenger ship going from that system to Earth, or back, pulled out of warp with catastrophic results to avoid crashing with an unknown object (the primitive spacecraft)

In the end, the crew makes it to the planet, find out humans are already there, there's a lush civilization, commerce with Earth, and that humans have become very "posh". They also learn about the plot twist from earlier.

marked as duplicate by John Rennie, Edlothiad, amflare, Politank-Z, Bellatrix Oct 25 '17 at 17:45

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  • Any of these? scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/160633/… – Moogle Oct 24 '17 at 16:16
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    This is almost certainly Far Centaurus by A. E. Van Vogt, which was the answer to the question Sublight Starship “passed” by FTL. The only thing that doesn't fit is that the inventor of the cryo technology didn't die in the crash. – John Rennie Oct 24 '17 at 17:27
  • I agree with John that this sounds like Far Centaurus. Too the inventor of the cryo sleep drug dying does actually fit per Wikipedia at: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_Centaurus "Pelham invents Eternity, a drug that puts the body into a hibernation-like state that can last decades. .....The story is told through the perspective of Bill. He is the first to awake, 53 years after launch. He learns that Pelham did not survive the initial dose of the drug, and is forced to dispose of the decayed body. " – beichst Oct 25 '17 at 0:46
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    Indeed, it is Far Centaurus! In the collection-book "Beast's Crypt" – Petersaber Oct 25 '17 at 8:54