Challenges of planet-drops

Anonymous's picture
August 6, 2012 - 7:33am
Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror 
Team members at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory share the challenges of the Curiosity Mars rover's final minutes to landing on the surface of Mars.

What kinds of adventures could lead to remote planet-drops in the Frontier?
Is it cheaper to send a remote probe than a manned mission?
After the initial landing and subsequent data transmission - if a site was deemed worthy a team would be sent to construct an operations center. I imagine a cargo ship would drop pods to the surface containing pre-fab buildings. 

Makes for a great adventure, instead of your ship crashing, you actually get some supplies. Foot in mouth


Malcadon's picture
August 7, 2012 - 12:27pm
I can imagine a boring routine mining survey in a new star systems with a good number of planets, and a lot of moons and planetoids. After exploring the big world, the survey team are checking out the many moons of a gas giant, and on one of them, a survey probe cuts-out. Nothing suspenseful, as the probes have been overworked and are prone to cutting-out, but it must be recovered - they have a fair supply of them, and they are not expensive, but its a bitch to go back home to get new ones. So the boss forms a recovery team to look for it. The survey has been uneventful and the recovery is routine, so one is expecting any trouble or major complications. And in most cases, this would be true, but for the sake of an adventure, anything could happen...

Well, sounds like a good - if generic - plot-hook to get things started.

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
August 7, 2012 - 2:08pm
Great idea!

Recovery mission are my favorite adventures.  :-)

rattraveller's picture
August 7, 2012 - 5:45pm
After the seven minutes of terror is over the rover lands and YOU are the rover.
Maybe for small groups or when only one player shows up roll up a rover using robot rules and have them explore the totally uncharted world without any assistance.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Malcadon's picture
August 7, 2012 - 11:39pm
As noted in my last post, in a world were robotic and remote probes so ubiquitous, something that plays out like our Mars Rover would not excite them in anyway, unless the situation is urgent or dire, and what info the probe can acquire could mean life or death, or they use it to explore a environment so alien - even by their standards - that only an unman probe can enter or peer inside.

I can see how an adventure can get started from it, but it would take some effort to get folks from the Frontier to be as enthralled by it, as we are by our own space missions.