Chris in Kansai
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As in the title - does the 8-difficulty boost of astronauts from Earth directly to Earth orbit explore suborbital flight?
 
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Joe Fatula
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Yes, but only because of the hazards faced on the Earth > Earth Orbit maneuver.

Take a close look at the Earth card. There you'll see a maneuver leading to Earth Orbit. It has a difficulty of 8, and it also has a hazard symbol: an astronaut in a blue circle. This symbol means that (if you have an astronaut on board) you face the manned spaceflight hazard, the effects of which are described on the Suborbital Flight card.
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Chris in Kansai
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Rats, I'm in trouble.

Thanks Joe.
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Will H.
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Thanks, Joe.

I've been playing this wrong the whole time. It makes sense you have to travel through the Suborbital location, but I didn't tie the hazard symbols together.
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Andrew C
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Just out of curiosity, what's actually happening to the astronauts that incapacitates them during suborbital flight if you get one of those tiles? I'm a little confused about what that's supposed to represent. Does that represent the severity of G-forces the astronauts are subjected to or something?
 
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Josh Zscheile
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@Andrew: The game is set an alternate universe (so to say), in which popular hyptheses of the time concerning space travel and distant bodies are options that might occur in the game (e.g. the moon being covered in a metres thick dust layer, phobos being hollow, mars having seasonal vegetation etc.).

It was theorized before mankind flew to space that it might make you crazy (I don't know why though) or pass out (that is, not the g forces applied to your body while travelling there, but space itself). That is why Juri Gagarin had no real control over his space craft; everything was steered from the ground.
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Andrew C
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Dagar wrote:
@Andrew: The game is set an alternate universe (so to say), in which popular hyptheses of the time concerning space travel and distant bodies are options that might occur in the game (e.g. the moon being covered in a metres thick dust layer, phobos being hollow, mars having seasonal vegetation etc.).

It was theorized before mankind flew to space that it might make you crazy (I don't know why though) or pass out (that is, not the g forces applied to your body while travelling there, but space itself). That is why Juri Gagarin had no real control over his space craft; everything was steered from the ground.


Interesting! I knew that some of the possible hazards are based on theories of the era, such as Venus having liquid water and not being the hellscape pressure cooker we now know it is (in addition to the other examples you mentioned), but I did not know about those theories regarding an astronaut entering suborbital flight! Very interesting. Leaving Earth continues to teach me more and more about the history of astronomy and space travel
 
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Casey Davis
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If I remember correctly, a big part of the concern was the Van Allen radiation belt, a layer in which high-energy electrically charged particles are trapped in a stable "orbit" by Earth's magnetic field. It eventually turned out to be pretty harmless to the astronauts because a rocket on the way up to higher orbit spends so little time passing through it (solar radiation is the bigger issue), but that wasn't known for sure at the time.

See also: any retelling of the Fantastic Four origin story
 
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Casey Davis
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If you ever see an old book called "The Exploration of Space" by Arthur C. Clarke, I highly recommend it--it's a fascinating nonfiction discussion (easily accessible to a general audience) of the basic principles of rocketry, what we might someday do with them, and what we know about the other planets so far... from the perspective of the late 1950s. Very interesting to see what Clarke got completely right and what he didn't anticipate.
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