Artifacts of NASA’s aborted spies-in-space program

found via Warren Ellis

BBC story about recently discovered space-spy suit.

So, for the sake of argument, let’s say NASA didn’t can this program. Justifications are left as an exercise to the reader, though I find some possibility in tweaking the historical response to the war in Vietnam. Should the government have conceded its futility earlier and refocused efforts on fighting the Red Threat via increased space surveillance and intelligence operations, the jump to actually putting the MOL in orbit is actually quite small.

Done and done. Orbiting MOL. Hooray. Now, for some gaming goodness (one-shot only, really, as the confines of such a place would limit one’s entertaining options, I would think). Put a handful of characters on this orbital platform, far from home. Schedule some solar flares to dork up their communication systems Earthside. And then add one broken transmission indicating that one of the crewmen is believed to be a Soviet spy, with just enough static that the identity of said spy remains a mystery.

Now hurl some technical difficulties at the station that require things like spacewalks and EVA.

Whether or not you, as the gamemaster, actually stipulate which character is the spy or leave it to the players to hash out interactively in-game is an issue best handled on a case by case basis. This will in large part depend on what sort of players one has, and whether or not your typical game leaves that much narrative control in their hands.

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  1. Ripp June 9, 2005 12:34 am 

    Very nice. I’d include a bit on the transmission about there being one loaded .38 pistol and one cyanide tablet aboard, but I’d let static overtake the location of the stash.

    Let’s see who runs for the guns first…

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