Launched Friday on Kickstarter, "Mars Needs Mechanics" is a new board game set nearly 100 years before men first walked on the moon. "The game is an imagining, from a 19th century British point of view, about what might be required to launch a mission to mars, and what they might need to bring with them if they made it," creator Ben Rosset told Discovery News.
The object of the game is to compete against other players in order to collect cogs, which are used as currency, to build ship mechanisms, which in turn earn more cogs. The player with the most at the end wins.
Calling All Citizen Scientists
You don't need to be enrolled in a graduate-level physics program to make contributions to original scientific research. Citizen science opportunities offer even the most novice space enthusiast with the chance for discovery.
Galaxy Zoo is one such project in which users help classify the hundreds of thousands of images of galaxies within the archives of the Hubble Space Telescope. If you're one of the many out there who just can't get enough of Hubble's images, this gives you the chance to not only dive into Hubble's history, but also possibly make a bit of your own.
If you want to take a closer look at the stars on your own and can't afford to launch a multi-billion-dollar suborbital telescrope, all you need is a good pair of binoculars and clear skies. In fact, you might even be able to discover a dwarf galaxy from your own backyard.
Discovery News' Mark Thompson also has tips on how amateur astronomers can acclimate themselves with their cosmic neighborhood, from searching for asteroids to catching a meteor shower.
Photo credit: NASA (top photo); Nevermore Games (bottom photo)