It was just last week that I was announcing that Elite Dangerous: Horizons' Planetary Landings was available in beta form (opens in new tab), and already we have a firm release date: December 15 will be the day to boldly go and despoil all those untouched space rocks.
Frontier refers to Horizons as "a new season of expansions (opens in new tab)", so this update doesn't make it finished. Rather, Planetary Landings has been buffed up in response to beta feedback and will form the first part of the season, allowing you to zip about the surface of dusty planetoids in buggies without shedding its Early Access tag. Planetary Landings itself will be patched with Earth-like worlds down the line (opens in new tab) in addition to as-yet unannounced expansions.
There was some consternation over Horizons' pricing plan (opens in new tab), which is £40/$60 (opens in new tab) to newcomers (including the base game) or £30/$45 if you're an existing player but not a premium backer with a lifetime expansion pass. If that deal rankles with you, you'll still be able to play in the same galaxy alongside Horizons owners.