September 18, 2016
Attention SPHERES flight engineers:
Welcome to Falcon Solar Inc. As you may know, as the world’s largest solar energy company we have undertaken many bold projects to advance the state of the art in solar power generation. Our most recent project has the potential to revolutionize energy production world-wide: the first space-based solar array. From a large orbiting station it will collect the sun’s energy without attenuation from the atmosphere and beam power to collector complexes on the surface.
Our main competitor, SolTech Industries, has mounted an aggressive R&D effort and is threatening to steal our business. They have also begun construction on a space-based solar array, patterning many of their technologies after our own. We must complete construction first to establish our rights to the technology. We are on the brink of success: after years of challenges we have finally perfected the most critical component, an ultra high efficiency panel to be installed at the focus of the array’s massive concentrator.
However, we have run into a problem. Just before starting its final orbital maneuver to approach the station, the launch vehicle transporting the panel experienced a catastrophic failure. We suspect a collision with space debris, but there are rumors of sabotage. Fortunately, our emergency systems jettisoned the panel before any damage could occur, but we do not have accurate knowledge of its location.
We have deployed a SPHERES satellite near the last known location of the vehicle. Your mission is to configure the satellite to find the panel, dock with it, and bring it to the array. We don’t know exactly where the panel is, so you will have to use the worker’s radar to find the panel.
This would be a relatively simple task if it weren’t for one thing: SolTech Industries. We have reports that they have deployed their own satellites to the same vicinity to rendezvous with a vehicle launched just hours ago. They will do anything to prevent us from finishing before them, and you must make sure they do not succeed.
It is important that you are aware that some time ago, the CEOs of Falcon Solar Inc. and SolTech Industries were pressured into a non-aggression treaty. This treaty declares that neither company “shall use destructive force against the other.” Our legal and engineering departments have crafted a loophole whereby we may employ a jamming signal that remotely alters another satellite’s guidance and navigations system. Using this device we can push them away from the worksite. We suspect SolTech’s corporate spies have already managed to lay their hands on the technology, and you will have to make sure to utilize the jamming signal to protect yourself. While they can’t touch the solar panel, they will do everything in their power to stop you from delivering it.
The fate of the company is in your hands.
Click the image to download the HelioSPHERES Game Manual v1.6