My protagonist is a first-generation native on a colony world. The general culture of the colony makes it clear that everyone must contribute to the colony in a meaningful way. But instead of following everyone else's lead and finding a conventional role in town, he just starts exploring, causing him to be labeled an outcast.
The colony is going to need his singular knowledge of the world when story problems develop. For him, this means finally being accepted, which is a life-changing experience for him.
The bulk of the story will be about six months from that point when the impending sh!t hits the proverbial fan. Should I leave it out because it's so long before my story, have it as a prologue or make it a flashback?
I can't move the story much closer to this event because the colony would definitely see the problem (spaceships) coming for quite a while before they arrived (no FTL).