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NASA video game lets you build, run complex space network

NASA 3D NetworKing video game aimed at network managers with a penchant for space

By Layer 8 on Wed, 10/12/11 - 11:19am.

nasa networking gameNASA this week rolled out a video game that lets would-be network executives design and build a giant virtual ground and space communications system that would keep astronauts in orbit and scientists on the ground in touch.

Developed by the Information Technology Office at NASA's Ames Research Center NetworKing lets players build fast and efficient communication networks by  first setting up command stations around the world and then linking them to orbiting satellites and space telescopes. Resources are earned throughout the game as players continue to acquire more clients.

More space news: 8 surprising hunks of space gear that returned to Earth 

According to NASA, players can strategically use accumulated resources 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.

NASA said the key objectives to the game include: Building a Near Earth Network; deploying a constellation of geosynchronous relay satellites to support LEO missions that require continuous coverage.  Gamers can also build a Deep Space Network that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions with powerful antennas. Players can then manage and improve the networks by monitoring network usage, dealing with disasters and upgrading the system with advanced network technology.

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 go HERE.

To play the game in your browser, follow the link below or click on the button at the top of the page. If you're trying the game for the first time, you'll see a link to download and install the necessary plug-in for your browser, NASA said.

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