as soon as you can
I've been poking around the campaign and planet xmls as well as the models mpeg and the master text files and I've noticed that there about 20 extra planets tagged which could be added to the game. Some even have there own planet model. However, they lack there own planet/space maps which leads me to believe a map pack could be on the way. Anyway, an .ala or .alo reader would be useful to confirm this.
I'm hopping for a map/mod tools pack soon because I think a truly massive galaxy is possible for this game. I'm talking 80,100, ~150 planets maybe more given that it is possible to add planets, move them around and to rescale their size, or the size of the galactic map in general. So sky's the limit on the overall galactic environment. Just need the tools.