NASA releases videogame, Moonbase Alpha

July 6, 2010
NASA has abandoned plans to return to the Moon but videogamers can explore the lunar landscape with a free new online game released by the US space agency.

NASA has abandoned plans to return to the Moon but videogamers can explore the lunar landscape with a free new online game released by the US space agency.

"Moonbase Alpha" allows players to join an exploration team in a futuristic 3D settlement on the south pole of the .

"In Moonbase Alpha, you assume the exciting role of an astronaut working to further human expansion and research," NASA said in an explanation of the .

"Returning from a research expedition, you witness a that cripples the life support capability of the settlement.

"With precious minutes ticking away, you and your team must repair and replace equipment in order to restore the oxygen production to the settlement," NASA said

To accomplish their mission, players of the "first-person explorer" game use an interactive command center, lunar rover and mobile robotic repair units.

"Proper use and optimal allocation of their available resources are key to the team's overall success," NASA said.

NASA said the game is designed to "engage and educate students about agency technologies, job opportunities and the future of space exploration."

Moonbase Alpha can be played by one or up to six players. said it is a precursor to a planned NASA-based "multiplayer online game project."

The game is available at

Explore further: NASA Invites Young People to Take Virtual Space Station Spacewalks

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1 / 5 (8) Jul 06, 2010
It is frightening to read that NASA is now promoting video games to "explore the lunar landscape."

NASA's video games will only reveal what NASA installs in the games.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
5 / 5 (2) Jul 07, 2010
They should make a video game so the public can solve problems it can't solve.
Like in Startgate Universe (tv series), where the winner of a game actually solved something real without realising it.
5 / 5 (2) Jul 07, 2010
So something like a more interactive version of Folding@home or Seti@home?

Maybe a game that would help NASA sort the vast amount of images they have captured into categories. Thing is, making that software would be tricky and slow. Still, I like the idea.
5 / 5 (1) Jul 07, 2010
My question is: How will this video game help NASA Administrator Charles Bolden achieve his "foremost" mission - to improve relations with the Muslim world?
5 / 5 (5) Jul 07, 2010
There's an idea. If NASA can make enough money inventing, packaging and selling video games, they can tell congress to bugger off. "We don't need no stinking appropriations."
2 / 5 (1) Jul 11, 2010
If the japanese manages to build their robotic moon-base, we might get an mmo-game in which we can control our own little robot on the moon.
Can you spell AWESOME?

I don't think the 2,5-3 second delay would deter many players. I'd play this forever.
Griefers would probably be a problem though, seeing as the consequences could be quite severe, not to mention expensive.
not rated yet Jul 11, 2010
Technically they mean a 'meteoroid impact' not a 'meteorite impact'. A meteorite is the rock left after the impact. But I guess the game-makers are not NASA geologists so it's not worth nit-picking ... but it's fun anyway. :)

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