Set up for Normal mode using base (w/ Mercury) and Stations. Missions were:
Artificial Satellite (2)
Man in Space (2)
Venus Survey (6)
Phobos Survey (2)
Mars Fly-by (4)
Manned Mars Fly-by (12)
Mars Lander (7)
Lunar Survey (4)
Manned Lunar Fly-by (5)
Extraterrestrial Life Survey (10, upon completion add ET Life Sample (40) to the mission pool)
Occupational mission: Man on Venus
Played as the USSR (for the simple reason, the red pieces stand out to me).
Setup for the solo game on Normal difficulty:
My plan was to go for as many missions as possible (due to playing on normal which is the step below recommended for solo play), leaving Venus and the Moon for last, and ignoring the ET life survey (because of the inability to chose to not complete a mission and I didn't want to discover life and potential not be able to get enough points). The new Features actually helped me in that goal due to the initial card flip stating if the planet had features or was incapable of further exploration.
As many of my missions were the easier ones, I didn't have to go for a lot of the new technology in the Expansion, but I did make heavy use of the new locations Mars Cycler and Earth Cycler.
I got a probe to Mars Orbit while working out and purchasing the parts for a manned mission to the Mars vicinity (even with the upped budget of $30M instead of $25, I was still blowing through money like water) and revealed Phobos and Mars. I landed probe successfully and revealed a patch of Badlands, but the engineers steered the craft perfectly and it wasn't damaged. (I explored further features later on Mars incorrectly, so while they are shown in my photo, they are not in my point total.)
Due to the new mental health rules, I employed a whole lot more astronauts than in previous games quite and also performed a bit more jiggering of craft in Earth Orbit than normal. (Not sending a trio of astronauts to Mars in an Apollo lander, but rather using the Aldrin capsule, and then having to change rendezvous in Earth orbit to the Apollo lander because it could perform reentry.) The mass of rendezvoused capsules and supplies came to be known as Adhoc Station.
Patrick Baudry became the first man in space, and then a decade later, he, Rodolfo Neri, and Vladimir Remek became the first men to fly-by Mars. Remek was originally planned to be the first man in space but he had a bad feeling and called in sick. (i.e. I forgot to put him on the component stack and didn't realize until after I drew the outcome) His craft was launched anyway and unfortunately blew up on the launchpad. Excellent instincts on Remek's part.
As a consequence of testing various technologies, I ended up with a surplus of Vostok capsules connected up in Earth Orbit. I came up with the bright idea of using the Eagle Capsule to save weight on my manned lunar fly-by. While my solar radiation was negligible, my suborbital space was dangerous and had a 38% chance to incapacitate astronauts traveling through it. Baudry made two trips through safely and Remek and Neri each made one trip safely through. Buzz Aldrin, astronaut for the Lunar mission, unfortunately became incapacitated in sub-orbit on his way to orbit in a craft that couldn't reenter Earth's atmosphere. While, it would have been possible for his ship to have been rendezvoused with Adhoc Station, the station was abandoned (and OKB-1 had never bought medical supplies: an oversight due to me used to doctors healing for free in base), and there was no budget to send a doctor up to revive him and Buzz Aldrin perished. Alan Shepherd completed the missions the following year.
In 1982, a probe successfully performed a flyby of Venus revealing an inhospitable surface - the occupational mission would have been impossible. The Mars trio also returned to Earth Orbit, swapped out their spacious capsule for one that one allow them to land, thus completing the Manned Mars Fly-by mission. I had enough points to win with what was on the table, and it was way beyond bedtime, so I called the game here. (Reviewing the features of Mercury, Moon, Ceres, and Phobos afterwards showed that no life would have been discovered, so that 40 point mission would never have threatened.)
Point total: 44 mission points - 1 deceased astronaut = 42, 10 left on the table. Win.