NASA has developed a new video game, Station Spacewalk, to give you an opportunity to experience the thrill of International Space Station from your computers.

This new video game is based on actual work astronauts performed during the course of several NASA missions. The game is part of NASA’s broader educational outreach effort to engage and inspire students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

“It’s all about getting the next generation excited about space exploration,” said Chris Kemp, chief information officer at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. “Players, or ‘astronauts,’ can virtually navigate their way through mission-critical tasks. This game provides players a sense of the magnitude of complexity and thrill associated with NASA missions.”

As an astronaut, players visualize a detailed virtual mock-up of the International Space Station that was created for NASA’s space station program. Players participate in four critical spacewalks that provide power to the station to keep it operating at full capacity. Players must complete their tasks quickly and carefully, before the air supply runs out.

Players begin by managing their way out of the airlock. The first task is to install the S6 truss segment, the long “backbone” of the station that supports the solar arrays. The player can open the S6 solar arrays, an essential task because they provide photovoltaic energy for the space station. These tasks are based on the shuttle mission to the space station that delivered the segment and deployed the solar arrays, informs NASA.

Players then can use a robotic arm to repair a tear in a solar array, a task NASA astronauts performed during another shuttle mission. When the work is done, players must carefully collect tools that are floating in space.

To take a virtual spacewalk in the Station Spacewalk game, you can go to: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/3d_resources/station_spacewalk_game.html

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About Rakesh Raman

Have extensive editorial, content management, and integrated communications experience and have worked as a senior tech journalist, analyst, and columnist with different newspapers, magazines, and Web/online properties in India.

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