NASA-sponsored MMO Coming Soon?
August 30, 2011

NASA-sponsored MMO Coming Soon?


A group of developers have raised over $25,000 for a NASA-sponsored massively multiplayer online (MMO) game.

The game, dubbed Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond, will take aspiring astronauts on a journey to space in the year 2035.  Developers plan to build a 3D avatar community, where players will be sent to the Arthur C. Clarke Astronaut Academy Station to learn about efforts to settle in the solar system.

Khal Shariff CEO of Project Whitecard, one of three companies working on the game, said the academy is like "Hogwarts in space."

A playable version of the game is expected to arise in December 2012, and the team is developing versions for the PC and iOS.

NASA sponsored a competition and called on developers to submit their ideas for an MMO, and Project WhiteCard, WisdomTools, and Virtual Heroes were the winners. 

"Players will have access to a complete and technical 'Astronaut Handbook' at the virtual Academy library, and revolutionarily, players will be able to visit and live through future, fanciful NASA missions in accurate, virtual depictions of the Space Academy, Mars, the asteroid belt, and solar system," according to the Kickstarter profile.

Players can pick from several characters classes, such as engineers, physicists, and pilots.

Developers have solicited over 500 donations of $26,568 in less than 20 days.  Their goal was to raise $25,000 in 60 days.

Shariff said a government tax credit will match all donations up to $700,000, so the team now has over $50,000 for the project.


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