Humans Escape to Space From Giant Insect Invasion

Space geekout time. You might have seen this most disturbing video. Cape Canaveral has been attacked by a giant mutant insect (00:06). Luckily, a company called SpaceX was able to launch an escape vehicle. The rocket safely reached orbit. The insects are no longer a threat

But jokes aside, the launch was something special. First of all, it was extremely exciting. The first attempt failed spectacularly in the very last second. For a while, Twitter was full of anticipating space enthusiasts waiting for a word from mission control. It worked out in the end and we are now in the unique position where a private company is capable of delivering some serious payload into orbit. This is the stuff Sci-Fi is made of. I can’t want to see what’s next.

But for space geeks, there is more. As you might know, we have one the most advanced space probes ever orbiting the planet Saturn right now. Turns out the probe found some evidence that would support a theory that there is life on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. It’s exciting news no doubt but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. So far this is only a bunch of chemical scans that show values we didn’t expect. Those results just so happen to match one model for life on Titan. Even if this theory were true, it would be probably quite primitive life – bacteria and such stuff. Remember that we actually landed a probe on Titan and it didn’t find any alien dinosaurs or anything.

BUT I already wrote that I think Titan may be one of the most exciting places in the entire Solar System. This new discovery is just another reason to go there and find out.

So if I have been counting correctly, we have 3-4 places in the Solar System to search life for:

  • Mars: We have just recently found some strange methane readings on Mars that might be explained by alien life. We have also confirmed the presence of water, even liquid water on the surface. Good old Mars is just as interesting as ever.
  • Europa: There is good evidence for the existence of a liquid ocean beneath the surface of the icy Jupiter moon Europa. So far there is no evidence suggesting that this ocean would harbor life. However there is a hypothetical chance considering how life started in oceans here on Earth. Getting to that ocean is one hell of a technical challenge. A probe would need to travel millions of kilometers, land, drill 100 kilometers though ice while being blasted by Jupiter’s intense radiation only to transform into a submarine at the end. But nobody said it would be easy, right?

  • Enceladus: We have found water plumes coming off the tiny, icy Saturnian moon Enceladus. Enceladus is actually Titan’s neighbor. Again, as with Europa there is no evidence for life yet. However there is clear evidence for water and it is even on the surface. The whole water on Enceladus is quite a mystery anyway, so there are good reasons to check it out.
  • Titan: Yes and now we have Titan. But again, this was quite a remarkable place anyway.

So there is a lot to do out there. I’m glad everything worked out with SpaceX. Maybe if private companies take care of the rockets now, the governments might be able to spend more money on probes to answer all those exciting questions. I can’t wait to find out. Sorry, for geeking out. This blog will now return to the scheduled program.

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

4 responses to “Humans Escape to Space From Giant Insect Invasion”

  1. Clayton Hughes

    Krystian, have you seen this? (Sweet Space Stuff).

    1. Krystian Majewski

      Ah! Nice one! No I haven’t. I love it even though I feel they might have missed Iapetus and Miranda.

      In the same vain, I cannot speak highly enough of a similar BBC series:

  2. Digital Tools

    Hm, I was thinking about something completely different while watching the video… Countdowns! Really a totally oldschool way of doing things like organizing the launch of a rocket. Counting from negative values and continue counting positive values. So simple. So effective. In our time… if rockets would be invented nowadays, we would have some sort of other “launch ritual”… if any! Maybe there would be just a hidden algorithm, saying LAUNCH.

  3. Krystian Majewski

    I’m not a rocket scientist but there are very good practical reasons for a countdown. There is a tremendous amount of systems that need to fire at the correct time before a launch. There are many people that need to work synchronously. For example, the rocket has an internal battery that needs to be up and running during a launch but can’t be turned on too soon because it’s not designed to be running for much longer than necessary. Once a rocket engine is started you can’t really turn it off. You can’t land a rocket once it’s in the air. If something goes wrong, the expensive rocket and the precious cargo is lost.

    So even if seems like a weird ritual, I’m pretty sure if we invented rockets today, we still would have countdowns.


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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