NASA has released an interactive educational video game today called NetworKing that its Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) network operates. The release of the video game coincides with the close of World Space Week, Oct. 4-10. Developed by the Information Technology Office at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, its developers say that NetworKing gives players an insider's perspective into how astronauts, mission controllers and scientists communicate during space missions.
"For any young person who ever dreamed of one day contributing to space missions, NetworKing lets players develop a kingdom of multiple space communication networks working together to support space missions," said Barbara Adde, policy and strategic communications director for SCaN at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
Players must "construct fast and efficient communication networks" by first establishing command stations around the world and accept clients conducting space missions, such as satellites and space telescopes. Resources are earned throughout the game as players continue to acquire more clients. Players can use accumulated resources to enhance and increase their networks' capabilities.
Players with the most integrated communications networks will have the ability to acquire more complex clients, such as the International Space Station, Hubble Space Telescope and the Kepler mission.
NetworKing is available to the public for play on the NASA 3D Resources website using an Internet browser. It can be downloaded and run on both PC and Mac. To play the NetworKing game, visit Nasa.gov. The 3D website also links visitors to the Station Spacewalk Interactive Game and the SCaN Interactive Demo that demonstrate the interaction between SCaN's ground-and-space facilities and NASA spacecraft.