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 MoonbaseAlphaGame.com.

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

Related Stories

Why The Moon?

December 5, 2006

If you asked 100 people why we should return to the moon, you'd probably get 100 answers - or more! Over the past year, NASA posed this question not just to 100 people, but to more than 1,000 from around the world. Scientists, ...

Lunar Outpost Plans Taking Shape

October 1, 2007

NASA's blueprints for an outpost on the moon are shaping up. The agency's Lunar Architecture Team has been hard at work, looking at concepts for habitation, rovers, and space suits.

Send Your Name to the Moon Aboard LRO

May 1, 2008

NASA invites people of all ages to join the lunar exploration journey with an opportunity to send their names to the moon aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, spacecraft.

NASA Spacecraft to Carry Russian Science Instruments

October 3, 2007

NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos have agreed to fly two Russian scientific instruments on NASA spacecraft that will conduct unprecedented robotic missions to the moon and Mars.

Recommended for you

Sun's eruptions might all have same trigger

April 26, 2017

Large and small scale solar eruptions might all be triggered by a single process, according to new research that leads to better understanding of the Sun's activity.

'Iceball' planet discovered through microlensing

April 26, 2017

Scientists have discovered a new planet with the mass of Earth, orbiting its star at the same distance that we orbit our sun. The planet is likely far too cold to be habitable for life as we know it, however, because its ...

New survey hints at exotic origin for the Cold Spot

April 25, 2017

A supervoid is unlikely to explain a 'Cold Spot' in the cosmic microwave background, according to the results of a new survey, leaving room for exotic explanations like a collision between universes. The researchers, led ...

Astronomers detect dozens of new quasars and galaxies

April 25, 2017

(Phys.org)—A team of astronomers led by Yoshiki Matsuoka of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) has detected a treasure trove of new high-redshift quasars (or quasi-stellar objects) and luminous galaxies. ...

7 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

omatumr
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
CreepyD
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.
Adriab
5 / 5 (2) Jul 07, 2010
@CreepyD,
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.
snivvy
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?
CarolinaScotsman
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."
Quasi_Intellectual
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.
Blicker
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. :)

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.