Mar 31 2015

BASPM Research and Rockets

I’m sure there’s a wiki for Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager somewhere, but I’ve been having fun putting together information to help me play.


I started a NASA game, built the VAB, and then advanced two turns so I could record the rocket information in a spreadsheet. As it turned out, I couldn’t record program opening cost for programs my VAB can’t support, so each time I hit “Program Cannot Be Opened” I upgraded the VAB further. Then I repeated the process with the Soviet program. My spreadsheet is here . If playing a GSA campaing, sort by VAB level to see what’s available to you, otherwise sort by program and then VAB.

I’ve been curious for a while what the best way to approach development is. To investigate this, I started a game on “Buzz-Hard”, built the VAB, and then advanced 2 turns so it would be complete. Then I opened the Jupiter-C, Juno II, and Thor-Able programs. I assigned the best 4 rocket scientists from my starting 5 to each rocket, took a screen shot, then removed them and put them on the next rocket.

As you can see, with the same 4 scientists, and all rockets opened on the same turn, the projected improvements are:
Jupiter-C: 24.6%
Juno-II: 20.2%
Thor-Able: 12.1%

There must be some type of research point system going on under the hood…

In the two NASA campaigns I’ve done, I try to launch explorer using Juno-II, which can also launch Pioneer-4 (a lunar flyby). It may make more sense to use Jupiter-C for explorer and then research Thor-Able, which can also launch Pioneer 2 (lunar orbiter).

Sattelites and Probes:

After the rockets, I did the same for the Sattelite and probe programs. I then estimated what the smallest/earliest rocket which could pursue each sattelite would be. That spreadsheet is here (same spreadsheet as the rockets, different tab). I need to actually be able to open the program to see the opening (the costs shown on the menu are always incorrect, sometimes by a factor of 10 or more), so program opening costs are not included. The interesting thing for me, is that many of the long distance probes need Atlas-Centaur, which I’ve almost always skipped.

Research with Crewed Vehicles

I really don’t know how the programs link together… so I started a new “Buzz-Hard” campaign as NASA. I then immediately saved my game, so that the starting scientists would stay constant.

I opened X-15 opened at the start. X-15 has 3% starting reliability, and with these 4 scientists projects a 31% improvement. Then I reloaded, but opened Mercury instead. Mercury has 3% starting reliability and projects a 15.7% improvement with the same 4 scientists.Then I reloaded again, opened the X-15, and let it build up to 80% reliability.


At which point I closed X-15 and opened Mercury…

Mercury now starts at 11.6% reliability, and projects a 14.5% improvement. This suggests to me that there is some flow through between programs, but it may not be very large….

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