Kuiper lays on an open Dungeons and Dragons book. He has a large D20 between his paws and his head is tilted inquisitively.

Ranger 7 and the tradition of peanuts at NASA launches

“The books I write because I want to read them, the games because I want to play them, and stories I tell because I find them exciting personally.” Gary Gygax, interview, 2004

Kuiper was hoping that “Space Ranger” would be a class in the new #Starfinder RPG from @officialpaizo. He even had his Space Dice all ready to go. It looks like the closest thing they have is the “Mechanic.” Fortunately, page 503 of the rulebook has a contingency for time-displaced characters, so he’s rolling up a #ranger in #PathfinderRPG. 🤓🤓🤓 He says he needs a “super space wizard,” a “thiefy mcthieferson,” and a healer to round out his party. Anyone want to join the campaign?

Have you ever heard of NASA’s Ranger program (1961-1965)? It is a classic tale of 7th try is the charm. 😮 In order to prepare for crewed lunar missions, we created 9 unmanned probes with the goal of crash-landing them (intentionally) on the moon and sending back pictures.

Ranger 1 (August 1961) and 2 (November 1961) were used to test the rocket. They both ended up in a low Earth orbit instead of a high one, burning up within a few days of launch. Ranger 3 (January 1962) missed the moon by 22,000 miles (35,000 km) due to a guidance system malfunction. Oops.

Ranger 4 (April 1962) was the first American spacecraft to land on the Moon, but a computer failure caused it to crash on the far side of the moon without returning any data. Ranger 5 (October 1962) suffered a power failure for reasons unknown and came agonizingly close to the Moon, within 450 miles (725 km.) Ranger 6 (January 1964) successfully made it to the moon, but the hecking cameras failed(!!!) 😭

Ranger 7 (January 1964) was a SUCCESS (as were 8 and 9)!! It created a cute tradition at NASA, too: lucky peanuts. 🥜🥜🥜 On launch day of 7, a mission trajectory engineer named Dick Wallace passed out peanuts at mission control. He said, “I thought passing out peanuts might take some of the edge off the anxiety in the mission operations room. The rest is history.” They’ve had peanuts at launches ever since.

Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BdmXSt3AiKA/

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