GTM – Mars

The Lego company actually has even more goodies for us.  They have a Mission to Mars set though with “action figure world” logic, it includes beyond NASA tech.  Sadly, the NASA tech kits are out of production and can only be found on eBay.

Terri Fisher: The genetic difference between men and apes is only three percent. But that three percent gave us Einstein, Mozart…
Phil Ohlmyer: …Jack The Ripper.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars provides plenty of hard data on the planet as well as a history of the various fly-bys, rovers, and other missions to examine the planet.

Fantastic: Discovering the Big Secret and how it changes the game.

  1. There is life on Mars and it has been expecting you.
    1. Watching us, eager to make contact
    2. Watching us, wary of contact
    3. Needing us for survival (our help)
    4. Needing us for survival (our planet)
    5. Humanoid or alien/monstrous
  2. There was life on Mars and it left a message for you.
  3. There was life on Mars and it left a present for you (miraculous technology, ship, bomb, virus, still functional machines for good or ill)
  4. Mars isn’t as we expected it (in terms of observed gravity, water, air, etc.).  Its true nature was cloaked allowing us to discover life and Earth-like conditions on the true surface.
  5. There was life on Mars and there will be again if we trigger processes left waiting for us. (Jumpstarted terraforming plus confirmation of alien intelligence.)

Gallagher: We walk 100 km. to a 30 year old Russian rock probe that failed to launch and try to jump start it. Gee, why couldn’t you make it tough.

Red Planet has nods to 2001: A Space Odyssey.  The captain is named “Bowman”, a’la Dave Bowman of 2001.  AMEE has a similar glowing visual sensor like the HAL 9000 and similar murderous intent after a system failure.  Even the ship has a pair of “gravity wheels” though they aren’t used to simulate gravity.

Common Challenges

  • Judging the intersect between two objects in orbit, manually in spacesuits, with line guns, rocket bursts, limited fuel.  Physics is a bitch leaving people to die because the math doesn’t work out.
  • Lots of Running Timers: fuel, oxygen, food/water, will run out. Ship must leave or won’t have enough fuel to get back to Earth or to get off the planet etc.
  • Walking/traveling overland from one site to another on the hostile surface.
  • Carry on with the mission vs. cheap heroics
  • Reuse hardware sent ahead or old probes/landers/etc.
  • Storms on the surface
  • Team on surface slowly killed, one by one