April 30, 2018


Centauri Spaceworks started work on developing an navigational aid.  This device emits a bright beam of light on regular intervals, similar to a lighthouse or a pulsar. The device is designed to help guide astronauts in space back to HOM and the Space Agency Wiki.  The official name is InterStellar nAvigation Assistance deviCe, but is nicknamed the ISAAC Star in honor of one of the major contributors to the Space Agency Wiki who has been away for some time.

the ISAAC Star: a long beam with two telescopes in the middle and a nuclear reactor on one end

At the core of the ISAAC Star are two space telescopes that have been modified to emit bright beams of light.  These are powered by a nuclear reactor.    Once assembled the devices is spun up to a specific rotation.  The rotation causes the ISAAC Star to appear to flash at a specific frequency.

The initial test of the ISAAC Star was a partial success.  The device was able to be spun up and maintain a stable position in space.  However there was not enough fuel on board the two converted telescopes to be able to spin the device up to the desired speed and have enough fuel to decelerate it when maintenance was required.  More research is required to make this a functional device.

April 24, 2018

The Peacock

Last week Centauri Spaceworks debuted the Hornet, a small agile racing craft.   This week, Centauri is excited to  the introduce another vehicle that will make an appearance at a solar system wide race.  However it won't be at the starting line, but on the side lines.  The Peacock is a support vehicle for up to four Hornet class racing ships.

The Peacock is critical for hosting racing events.  The small racing vehicles don't have enough power and oxygen to sustain them for very long.  Traveling out to the start of the race and waiting around for the starting signal could drain the power and oxygen reserves from the ship.  The Peacock can transport the ships to the race start and provide them with power and oxygen until they are ready to queue up at the starting line.

space ship with three MSS solar panels on the rear that resemble a peacocks tail

The Peacock is named for the three auxiliary solar panels that are mounted on the rear of the vessel.  At the right angle these solar panels have an iridescent glimmer like the feather's of of a peacock.

There is an attachment point on the right hand side of the vehicle that allows for customization.  Clients can choose to put a transponder module to make it easy for the racing vehicles to find the support ship.  A Voyager X engine is can be fitted in case the Peacock is a quick service pit stop.  This would allow it to store full tanks of O2 and CO2 scrubbers to immediately swap instead of waiting for ones to recharge in the oxygen garden.  A third option  is to outfit the Peacock with an additional fuel silo for extra fuel capacity.

April 19, 2018

Astronaut Dreams

You can almost recreate the moon landings in Space Agency.  Almost, because the closest thing to a man that a player can send to the moon is a tank of water.  Space Agency doesn't have astronauts.  Andy Barry, the developer of Space Agency has said that he is working towards adding astronauts.  This blog post will show a vision of what astronauts could look like.

If you visit the Space Agency Wiki, it is not a surprise that many of the players use the game to role play.  They create their own agencies and plan out missions.  Astronauts could really enhance the role playing use of the game.  In addition to building up a space-scape of stations and a fleet of vehicles; agencies could also build up a corps of astronauts!  Boring resupply mission: send the newbie astronaut to get some experience.  Harrowing shuttle rescue mission: send your top commander to make sure the job gets done.  This adds a new human dimension to the game.

Screen with name, actions, and stats for an astronaut

Above is a the astronaut detail screen that shows the player all the information about the astronaut.  The player can customize the astronaut's name and uniform coloring to help with identification.    It also shows the astronauts experience.  How many times they have launched, landed, and how many times the mission went fatally wrong.  This gives the astronaut a deeper depth than a fungible piece of cargo like a oxygen tank.

There would also be an action menu for the astronaut that could support interactions with other game play mechanics in the future. Possible ideas for these interactions include repairing modules and doing EVAs, but it isn't limited to those.  There might be no actions initially, but making providing a place for them helps to insure that the astronaut interactions can be expanded in the future.

In the space view, astronauts would work similar, but not identical, to cargo.  A new tab is added to the far left of the view menu.  This brings up the astronaut bottom panel.  

image of a station with a panel below showing several astronaut icons

Moving astronauts works similar to moving cargo.  The player drags them from the panel to the destination module.  One difference would be that the starting and destination module must be connected by an path of open doors.  Astronauts can't travel through closed doors or non-atmospheric modules.

To give a better indication of where valid move locations are, the accessible modules should be highlighted in a light green while an astronaut icon is being dragged.  The module where the astronaut will be moved to should be highlighted in a dark green.  This will help aid in moving the astronauts to smaller modules like the crew capsule and identifying closed doors that block movement.   This concept of highlighting the drop module could also be applied to cargo moves.

Another difference between cargo and astronauts is that tapping on an astronaut's icon would take you into the details for that astronaut.  That lets you access the details and possibly perform actions with the astronaut.

That covers some of how astronauts could work.  Hopefully this inspires you and Andy Barry to dream big about astronauts.  I hope to see them in the game soon soon in whatever form they take.

Centauri Spaceworks would like to thank other agencies for contributing their ideas and giving feedback:  Rimor Locus, United Space Alliance, and York Space Agency

April 17, 2018


The latest Centauri Spaceworks ship is inspired by Julia Mao's Razorback from season 3 episode one of The Expanse. Like the Razorback, the Hornet is a small fast ship.

small space ship composed of a LK core, hub, and fuel tank

The Hornet only has three modules.  Two of the are for engines and fuel.  It needs to be fully stocked with an 02 tank, a CO2 scrubber, and two batteries before departing from its home base.
This gives it enough fuel and power to make a quick lap out and around a planet or two before returning to base or being resupplied.

April 12, 2018

Glomar Explorer

Digging even deeper into the archive of Centauri Spaceworks, here is another vehicle from the beginning of Centauri Spaceworks:  the Glomar Explorer.  The Glomar Explorer was the first major interplanetary vehicle constructed by Centauri Spaceworks.  It was designed for a long duration mission exploring planets.

black and white photo of a space ship with lander attached and empty spaces for two more landers

The Glomar Explorer could carry a total of 4 planetary exploration vehicles, either the LOK, Apollo CSM, LK Lander, or Lunar Module.  These would be used to decent to the surface of different planets.  The photo above has been annotated to show where the two additional landing craft would be docked.

The Glomar Explorer was constructed prior to Centauri Spaceworks having a long term presence in space.  STA and MSS were still in their original configurations and no other stations had been constructed.  Without significant space infrastructure, the Glomar Explorer was stationed in HOMm orbit in between missions.   The crew would be sent in an Orion capsule that would dock at the rear of the ship.  This same capsule would then be used to return the crew to HOM when the mission was complete.

April 10, 2018

Hawkes Bio-Systems

Hawkes Bio-Systems, a sub division of Hawkes Industries has contracted with Centauri Spaceworks to create a research facility.

Hawkes Bio-Systems station with an Orion-E docked to one of the airlocks

This facility is a state of the art space laboratory dedicated to researching germs.  Due to the potentially biologically hazardous nature,  the station is located in the far reaches of the solar system, past JOR.  Its location will prevent any contamination of the station with Earth germs.  It will also prevent the contamination of Earth from any germs, alien or  domestic, that are being researched on the station.

This distance from home makes it a one way trip for an Orion III without refueling.  The station lacks a large fuel silo.  The small refuel module provides enough fuel to the two Voyager X engines for station keeping, but lacks the capacity to to repeatedly refuel crew change missions.  Crews set to Hawkes Bio-Systems use the Orion-E and its extended fuel capacity to make the round trip.

Orion command module with three Orion service modules.  Only the last service module has its solar panels deployed.  This forms an Orion-E
Orion-E with extra fuel tanks.  The trip to Hawkes Bio-System requires only one extra fuel tank instead of the two show on this version of the Orion-E.

The station relies on CSgt reactors instead of solar panels to provide a reliable source of power at this distance from the SOL.

It is rumored that Harold Hawkes himself had located several specimens of alien germs while visiting the rings of YEL.  Being a notorious germaphobe it is also rumored that he immediately left YEL orbit and headed for JOR after discovering these germs.  He prefers to let his science team do the work of handling the germs and remain isolated in his Hermit II spacecraft.

April 5, 2018

Station XST

One of the archivists, working in the Centauri Spaceworks vaults, found this old photo.  This is Station XST.   It was constructed after Station One, but before Xerces Station.

It has four Apollo CSM lifeboats docked between the solar panels.  It also supports an antenna for communicating with HOM and fuel to resupply vehicles.  The twin column station design became the basis for Xerces Station.

black and white photo of a station with two parallel columns of modules

April 2, 2018

Retiring the Apollo CSM

Centauri Spaceworks returned the last Apollo CSM, along with a crew from STA to earth.  The Apollo CSM is being phased out in favor of the Orion III.

The Apollo CSM was the original crew transport and lifeboat vehicle for Centauri Spaceworks.  It's use started before many of the vehicles and stations posted on this blog were constructed.  Its use was discontinued in favor of the Orion III.  The Orion III has a larger crew capacity, and is easier to service with its larger drop area for cargo.  Another advantage is that the engine ignition does not have the delay of the CSM main engine, which can provide much needed seconds in an emergency.

Here are photos from the crew transfer mission that replaced the last Apollo CSM vehicle.

Titan II with Delta 2nd stage and Orion on the launch pad
Orion III on launch pad 39A

Orion-III capsule, Orion plus a small tug, in space
Orion III en-route to STA with replacement crew.

Orion-III about to dock at a space station
Orion III arriving at STA
Apollo CSM departing from the opposite end of the space station
Apollo CSM departing STA

Apollo CSM in deep space heading toward HOM
Apollo CSM during coast back to HOM

Apollo Command module just after separating from the service module.  The detached service module is floating below
Crew module separating from service module prior to re-entry.

Apollo command module floating in the ocean with airbags deployed