NASA Enters the Realm of Virtual Worlds with MMO Game

NASA Officially Announces Astronaut MMO, Working With Educators For Content
Virtual Worlds News

Today NASA has officially announced that it would sign an agreement for the proposed Astronaut: Moon, Mars, and Beyond.

“‘Astronaut: Moon, Mars, and Beyond’ was selected because the three companies involved had a really ideal combination of qualities we were looking for,” Daniel Laughlin of NASA’s Learning Technologies Project Office said in a statement.

“They have the right experience, they demonstrated their ability to engage middle school through higher education curricula, and they have extraordinary enthusiasm about working with NASA to make a fun game. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from more than 800 pages of public input, it’s that this game must be fun if it’s going to be of any use for education.”

In the announcement, NASA was careful to point out that the virtual world was being developed without directly tapping in to taxpayer dollars. There was a mild kerfluffle in Spring 2008 after NASA’s RFI meeting when some developers assumed that meant NASA was asking them to work pro bono. Instead, NASA is providing assets of its own, including subject matter experts, data, facilities, and more, which will bolster the product and let developers monetize it on their own.

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