Launch Pad is a competitive 2-4 player board game which emulates the planning, testing, and integration of rocket launches. It has been balanced to ensure an enjoyable experience for all players, while at the same time teaching you about what it's like to be a NASA engineer. The game is ready to play now and the rules, game board, & card design can be found at the link below, however it is still a prototype so you will have to create your own cards to print. We hope you have as much fun as us!

This project is solving the 3-2-1 LIFTOFF: Launch that Rocket! challenge.


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The intent of the #launchthatrocket challenge is to inspire, engage and share the experience of launching a rocket. But rockets are very expensive, so here's a way you can do it all in an hour, with your friends in the comfort of your living room! We were inspired by real world problems which NASA has faced, as well as actual missions to Mars, The Sun, and more, so you might learn something too.

We designed Launchpad to be a fast, fun and educational experience. It is offered here as a print and play product, meaning you can print it out, get something to act as markers and tokens, and try it out for yourself. We intended that the game be published and sold, while at the same time we freely provide printable resources for people to create their own home-made copy.

2-4 players | 45 minutes | Ages 10+ (5-6 players requires an extra "2" space for each resource on the game board.)

In order to play the game you must go to our Google spreadsheet and print:

- The board, the rules, and the handy rules cards.
- 40 Mission cards, as listed on the "Missions" sheet, using the provided design, or your own.
- 80 Challenge cards, as listed on the "Challenges" tab, using the provided design, or your own.

You will also need to create:

- a first player token (we used a Batman figurine),
- a token to indicate the current in-game month,
- 2 Effort tokens per player,
- about 25 Research resource tokens,
- about 25 Engineering resource tokens, and
- about 25 Personnel resource tokens.

Many of these you might be able to borrow from other board games like we did.

How to Play:

Launchpad is a game for 2-4 players about launching rockets. At the start of the game players choose 5 missions, based on real NASA missions, that they will attempt to complete before the end of the game. Each mission has a limited launch window during the game year, so choosing missions that work well together is very important. On top of this each mission also comes with a number of problems. These problems, again based off of real issues NASA has encountered when launching vehicles, will require the players to gain resources to solve. On each player's turn they can choose two areas to focus in, they can gather more of one of the three resources in order to solve their problem cards, or they can attempt to launch their current mission. When you go to launch however, there's something you've overlooked. Every time you attempt to launch a mission, you receive an additional problem card, which you attempt to solve immediately. If you succeed, then the mission launches without a hitch, and you score victory points. If you cannot solve the problem, the mission must be delayed until you can fix the issue. Now at this point the player has a choice, do they keep their current mission card, which now has 1 more problem than when they started, and hope to launch it in the next available window? Or do they cancel the mission, which scores no points, but allows them to keep to their schedule for the year?

All the licenses provided seem to be specifically for software, and we would prefer a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 International License as used by Cards Against Humanity (a similarly freely downloadable card game), however to be considered for judging we have chosen the Apache License.

Project Information

License: Apache License 2.0 (Apache-2.0)

Source Code/Project URL:



  • Daniel Oulton
  • Glynn Butler
  • Rajkumar Sekar
  • Scott Sleep