FLL Mission Overview Part 2 - Solar Power Satellite
Objective: Press the red lever on your side of the table to unfold a solar panel on the satellite. Press the lever before the team on the other side of the table to make the radar dish point to your table.
Point Worth: 15 points for pressing your lever anytime, with a bonus of 5 points for pressing it first (making a total of 20 points).
Mission Location: North (top) center of field.
Estimated Difficulty Level: 1/10 for minimum points, may vary for maximum points.
Time Length Rating: Low
Unique Challenge Aspects: Only mission which incorporates a competition between the two teams opposite each other on the tables.
This mission is probably my favorite one this year. I always like the competition missions, because they're so easy to complete by themselves (or at least the past couple ones that I've been in were), but the competition aspect increases the difficulty level by an unknown quantity. You might have to hit the lever in 5 seconds to win in some cases, while in other rounds your opponent team may not even go for it! This adds a neat twist to the challenge, since you can never be sure that what you have is good enough. We'll probably be seeing some amazing solutions to this challenge at different state tournaments and especially at the World Festival.
Another interesting aspect of this challenge that is different from past years is the fact that it's located almost directly in front of the base! (hence the 1/10 difficulty rating) It almost seems like the designer purposefully made it like that to encourage teams to try for it. The fact that you get points for hitting your lever any time also encourages people to try for it, so there will probably be more teams going for it this year.
Richard's comments: Just a quick reminder that you are NOT allowed to switch the pointer to your side if you did not trigger it first. Some teams did things like this in past years, for example in No Limits, they scooped the ball out of the center hoop (the objective was to be the first to place their ball in the center hoop) and replaced it with their own. This called for some of the most amazing devices, but it looks like designers wanted teams to go another apporach this year.