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Astronauts play a very important role in ‘Space Station Designer’, as they are the ones in charge of keeping the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) station functional and using their skills in order to increase the station’s output. In this blog post, I’m going to give an overview of the astronauts and cover the processes for hiring and managing them.

The game starts with a Core Module in LEO housing a single astronaut. From that point onwards, players will need to hire more in order to be able to manage larger stations. This is done through the hiring screen, which can be accessed by using the following button:

Which can be found in the astronauts button group in the right panel of the main screen:

The hiring screen shows a list of candidates, which are displayed as a series of cards with a number of attributes:

The upper section of the card features the following attributes:

  • Name and portrait.
  • Age: Astronauts need to retire at age 65.
  • Special skill: A unique skill that can be used when the astronaut gets assigned to a commercial services engagement. We’ll cover this mechanic in a future post.
  • Autonomy: The maximum number of weeks an astronaut can stay on a mission at the station before being ferried down to Earth in order to rest.
  • Weekly salary: The amount of money an astronaut needs to be paid for every week spent on the station.

In the middle area of the cards there are six icons, one for each type of skill:

  • Intermediate goods skill: The intermediate goods production boost provided by an astronaut when assigned to a production line.
  • Commercial goods skill: The production boost for a given commercial good provided by an astronaut when assigned to a production line. Notice that there are five types of commercial goods available for manufacturing in the LEO station, but an astronaut can only be specialized on one. The commercial goods were discussed in a previous blog post.
  • Research skill: The research output boost provided by an astronaut when assigned to a research module.
  • Engineering skill: All space station modules have an individual maintenance value which contributes to the overall maintenance value requires by the space station. The engineering skill values of all astronauts present in the station and assigned to maintenance duties must be equal or greater than the overall maintenance value required by the space station in order to minimize the chances of experiencing a failure. We’ll cover this mechanic in detail in a future blog post.
  • Space tourism skill: The income boost provided by an astronaut when assigned to a space tourism module.
  • Industrial R&D skill: The income boost provided by an astronaut when assigned to an industrial R&D module.

After one or more candidates have been hired from this screen, the recruitment process will be unavailable for a certain period of time. The management screen can be accessed via the following button, which is also available in the astronauts button group in the right panel of the main screen:

The screen lists all the active astronauts, along with a series of options that depend on their current state:

All the attributes shown in the hiring screen, such as age, autonomy, weekly salary and the various skills are still present. In the upper right of the card there’s a ‘Rank’ attribute as well. A new astronaut starts with rank of one and, every time he or she is sent to any skills training, the value increases. Once the value reaches a certain number, no further skills training is allowed.

In the third row of the card there’s an icon that shows the astronaut’s location (i.e., on Earth or in the LEO station).

Astronauts on Earth can be in one of the following states:

  • Available.
  • In training.
  • Recovering from mission.

Astronauts on the station can be in one of the following states:

  • Unassigned.
  • Assigned to maintenance.
  • Assigned to a module.
  • Assigned to a production line.
  • Assigned to a commercial service engagement.
  • Past max stay time.

We’ll cover most of these in upcoming blog posts, where we’ll be digging into the rest of the mechanics of ‘Space Station Designer’. Are there any astronauts features that you think are missing? Let us know via the comments section below, twitter or the contact form at the bottom of our website 🙂

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