Frontier has released its Beta 1 build of Elite: Dangerous. It "covers a greatly expanded 38,000 cubic light-year volume of Elite: Dangerous' accurately modeled Milky Way galaxy centered around the Boötes constellation."
Beta 1 also introduces new features including fuel consumption, player communication, docking computers, mission system functionality, and friend management/matchmaking capability. There's more, including a new trailer, which is embedded along with the official press release after the break.
[Source: Frontier press release]