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Last January, NASA began soliciting proposals for a space exploration massive multiplayer online game. A year later, NASA has announced that Virtual Heroes, Project Whitecard and Information in Place will be handling the development for the MMO, entitled Astronaut: Moon, Mars & Beyond.
"Players will pick a profession like a roboticist, space geologist, astrobiologist or mechanical engineer and work together as a team as they explore space and complete missions, establishing bases and outposts and traveling to the farthest reaches of the solar system," said Virtual Heroes CEO Jerry Heneghan to Yahoo! Games.
Heneghan added: "The game will offer both individual challenges and team-based objectives to encourage players to use real-life applications of science, math and engineering to unlock new in-game vehicles, spacesuits, robotics and mining apparatus that will propel them further into space."
Science? Math? Engineering?! Eww. The subscription-based MMO's objective is to teach people about NASA and perhaps attract them toward careers in related fields. NASA hopes that in time teachers and professors will incorporate Astronaut into their lesson plans as well.
A playable demo is said to be due by the end of the year. Might not pique the interest of folks who enjoy not learning anything while playing games but hey, at least it's not another medieval fantasy MMO.