NASA MMO looks for launch funding

Astronaut: Moon, Mars, and Beyond is an MMO in the works from NASA, of all people (who better to understand all three categories!). It’s been a very long time since we’d heard anything about it, but the game’s just popped back onto our radar, with an announcement that it’s (finally) secured commercial backing.

Developers Project Whitecard, Wisdom Tools and Virtual Heroes have (space-)hopped on board to help with this interstellar endeavour – but they’re still looking for more funding.

In order to try and grab the cash they need, the developers and NASA have set up a Kickstarter page asking for contributions. To convince you further, they’ve thrown in a four-minute video to explain what the game’s all about.

Targeting gamers aged between 5 and 24, Astronaut: Moon, Mars, and Beyond aims to be like a virtual Space Camp that takes budding astronauts all the way from training to the stars – in 2035.

NASA has granted the developers full access to the complex history of the space program, so that the game – which is meant to be fun, but still “authentic” – will be as realistic as possible.

Astronaut: Moon, Mars, and Beyond

Fly me to the moon...

Designed with the Unreal Engine 3, Astronaut will work on the PC and iPad, plus yet-to-be-announced consoles that are being kept a secret. It’s still a while off now, with beta testing not expected to start until December 2012, but it’s still something to look forward to. Isn’t being an astronaut something worth waiting for?

If you’d like that day to come sooner, head over and contribute to the game’s Kickstarter page – every little bit helps, and most bigger bits will get spiffy prizes!

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