NASA does some pretty awesome stuff, the least of which being sending people into outer space. For those of us who won’t be floating amongst the stars anytime soon, the agency has decided to bring the experience home in a new MMO, Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond. Set in 2035, players will take to the heavens and explore Mars, the asteroid belt, and the outer planets as well as encounter a threat to civilization. While not funding the project directly, NASA is developing the title “in accordance with a “Space Act Agreement” with NASA Learning Technologies by Project Whitecard and Wisdom Tools” and using a Kickstarter campaign to help finance the beta.
The beta is scheduled to go live December 2012, and the Astronaut Academy Handbook, a guide to the science and tech in the game, will be released on iOS “soon.”
Astronaut: Moon, Mars And Beyond is an adventure game focused on mankind’s future missions into the outer reaches of the solar system: this time to stay, and is a follow-up to Moonbase: Alpha (released in July 2010) which was the proof-of-concept for developing commercial quality videogames using NASA content. Astronaut Academy (the first chapter of the AMMB series) is a recreation of the solar system featuring simulated mission-based space exploration, career advancement and awareness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The game will be designed to be fun and engaging, scientifically accurate, enabling career exploration and STEM learning. The target audience will be the 5-24 age and the gaming and science enthusiast markets. It will have an open architecture to support expandability and linkages to multiple technologies and media. The game will be built using the Unreal Engine 3 with initial support for the iOS and Windows PC platforms.
Official Site: NASAMMO.com