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I think I read this one in a early 1970s era "Best of" anthology. It's about a man who was sent from earth on a spaceship, without any companion but the ship's computer. As he approaches death from old age, he learns that the computer has kept a secret - the reason humans are sent on these missions is to determine in a strictly experimental way, how far a ship with a living human can go from Earth.

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Found it - it's "Evane" by E. C. Tubb, which I read in The 1974 Annual World's Best SF

It's about a man who was sent from earth on a spaceship, without any companion but the ship's computer.

"Evane" is the name of the ship's computer.

As he approaches death from old age, he learns that the computer has kept a secret - the reason humans are sent on these missions is to determine in a strictly experimental way, how far a ship with a living human can go from Earth.

"When you cease to function, Charles, we will have reached terminal distance from the home world. I shall then reverse direction and commence to search for a suitable world to receive our cargo."

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