Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Horizons spacecraft first photo of Pluto

From NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day for July 15, 2015:

New Horizons has survived its close encounter with Pluto and has resumed sending back images and data. The robotic spacecraft reported back on time, with all systems working, and with the expected volume of data stored. Featured here is the highest resolution image of Pluto taken before closest approach, an image that really brings Pluto into a satisfying focus. At first glance, Pluto is reddish and has several craters. Toward the image bottom is a surprisingly featureless light-covered region that resembles an iconic heart, and mountainous terrain appears on the lower right. This image, however, is only the beginning. As more images and data pour in today, during the coming week, and over the next year, humanity's understanding of Pluto and its moons will likely become revolutionized.
The Heavens declare the Glory of God

Pluto     X-110000-0

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The New Horizons spacecraft is unmanned, and will not land on Pluto's surface. But in the Far Future, the Scout service and others would make this kind of discovery, and very likely make a surface landing. How should this be handled for PC explorers? 

From my House Rules file:

Landing a ship is one of the better times for pilots to demonstrate their ability (i.e., roll some dice)

Starport Landing task roll

A  3+

B  3+

C  3+

D  7+

E/X  9+

The X classification indicates no landing facilities at all, the pilot is setting down on unprepared ground. Starports A-C all have radar & radio guidance from the ground; D,E, and X do not.

Landing DMs

Atmosphere 9+ -2

High Gravity world -2

Bad Weather -1

Under fire, from ground or air -2

Existing hull damage -1 per hull hit

How do you handle 'field landings' in your Traveller game?

1 comment:

  1. I'd even say automatic success of landing on starports A-D under normal conditions (as these are quite safe for landing - serious commercial starports) - as long as you are doing a legit starport landing of course, not under fire and not in bad weather or with a damaged ship. 7+ for starport E (it has flat ground and a beacon, nothing else) 9+ for X or any landing outside of starport. Starport D though is 7+ to land in in bad weather (due to minimal electronics) and starport E is 9+ to land at in bad weather (nothing but a beacon - no radar data available).