- Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond
Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond is the title of a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) which as of November 25, 2009[update], is being developed by NASA with Project Whitecard Inc., WisdomTools Enterprises and the Virtual Heroes division of Applied Research Associates, Inc. The game world will be set in the future (2035 or later), with the ability to explore planned and possible near-future moon missions, which is facilitated by the use of NASA Learning Technologies, and Innovative Partnerships programs.
Other NASA Learning Technologies programs include Second Life's MOONWORLD  and Moonbase Alpha  on the STEAM network, as well as a few others on different platforms going all the way back to the original Nintendo NES system of the 1980s.
November 25, 2009 was the "pre-development start" date for the project.
On May 31, 2011, the Second Life avatar Denzen Mimulus, in an attempt to generate interest in this NASA endeavor, listed three digi-tix for a tour of the existing NASA MOONWORLD sim on Second Life for L$12.5 million, making these tickets the most expensive item on the SL Marketplace at the time. This amount is roughly equal to the pre-funding requirements of the NASA MMO. The purchase price of these tickets would be donated in the name of the purchaser to the NASA MMO Kickstarter program with the remainder (less fees, etc) returned to the purchaser.[dead link]
In October, 2011, the Kickstarter pre-funding drive is scheduled to end. The goal is $25,000.00 to prove some commercial viability.
The game is being developed because the belief in games used as educational tools is gaining recognition, and NASA is in a position to develop an online game that functions as a persistent, synthetic environment supporting education as a laboratory. It is the same reason pilots train with flight simulators.
This article incorporates public domain material from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration document "Development of a NASA-based massively multiplayer online learning game".
- Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond Home Page
- NASA: Moonbase Alpha
- Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond on Kickstarter.com
- NASA: MOONWORLD
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