NASA has released an interactive, educational video game called NetworKing that depicts how the Space Communication and Navigation, or SCaN, network operates. The release of the video game coincided with the close of World Space Week, Oct. 4-10, 2011.
Developed by the Information Technology Office at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., NetworKing gives players an insider’s perspective into how astronauts, mission controllers and scientists communicate during space missions.
To successfully construct fast and efficient communication networks, players first must establish 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 strategically 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. Players can access the game using an Internet browser. It can be downloaded and run on both a PC and Macintosh operating system. To play the NetworKing game, visit http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/3d_resources/scan.html.
In conjunction with NetworKing, the 3D Resources website also links visitors to the Station Spacewalk Interactive Game and the SCaN Interactive Demo that demonstrates the interaction between SCaN’s ground-and-space facilities and NASA spacecraft.
Declared by the United Nations General Assembly, World Space Week is an annual international celebration of science and technology commemorating the launch of Sputnik 1, the first human-made Earth satellite, and the signing of the Outer Space Treaty. The theme for World Space Week 2011 was “50 Years of Human Spaceflight.”
For more information about SCaN, visit https://www.spacecomm.nasa.gov/spacecomm/default.cfm.