Sunday, February 28, 2010

Take a virtual spacewalk around the ISS with Station Spacewalk Game

Station Spacewalk is a new game from NASA that allows armchair astronauts like me to experience spacewalk and the thrill of conducting NASA repair work on the International Space Station.

After negotiating your way through the airlock, the astronaut which is played by you, will be assigned a 4-objective mission that needs to be completed in 4 spacewalks. With a limited quantity of oxygen, you have to move quickly and carefully and must complete your EVAs (extra vehicular activities) and get back into the airlock before your air supply runs out.

station-spacewalk

This game features simulations of actual extravehicular activities (EVAs) conducted by NASA astronauts on missions to provide power to the space station. The graphics used in this game are based on real NASA missions and incorporate 3D graphics used by the Agency.

Mission objectives ranges from installing the fourth starboard Integrated Truss Segment (S6), unfurling the S6 Solar Arrays, repairing a tear in the solar array and retrieving a floating tool box – events that actually occurred on the ISS.

Steering oneself and the objects in the game requires feather light touches on the controls. Pressing too hard on the keys will send you reeling out of control in the zero gravity environment. The game is short but entertaining and educational. The believable physics and the slow pace of the game makes it almost too real.

You can play the Station Spacewalk either in your browser through the Unity plug-in or download the game to the hard disk. The game installer is available for Windows and Mac OSX.

Other games and resources from NASA:
Interactively explorer Apollo 11 landing site
The International Space Station and Mars Rover in 3D
NASA World Wind

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