here and here.
Daven Laure, a Ranger of the Commonalty, has been asked to go to the planet Serieve to investigate the twenty mysterious red-skinned human beings called "Kirkasanters" who have arrived there in an archaic spaceship with hyperdrive and gravity control but also with nuclear fission instead of fusion and even human piloting.
The Serievan linguistic computer had interpreted the Kirkasanters' language and encoded vocabulary, grammar and worldview on cylinders sent by courier to Sector HQ. En route to Serieve, the language was re-encoded in Laure's neurones. He listens to the recorded voice of the Kirkasanter navigator, then asks the consciousness-level computer of his spaceship, Jaccavrie, to screen the Serievan translation for comparison.
Laure walks from his study cabin to the bridge which is still so called although the ship navigates, pilots, lifts, maintains, repairs and fights for herself. When he orders the simulacrum activated, he seems to float in space although he still feels the gravity field and the hardness of the deck, senses the ship's energies and hears the ventilators change their odor-temperature-ionization cycle. He sees stars, the galaxy, Serieve, its moon and the depths of space. He also looks back, as if for comfort, in the direction of Old Earth.
I think that it is implausible that he would do this. Earth is no part of his civilization or of his everyday life. However, the gesture is an opportunity for the author to inform the reader that Earth is two spiral arms away and that no one on this frontier knows anything about it.