The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) today launched its first multiplayer game to test players' knowledge of the space program's history, technology, science, and pop culture. You can play the Space Race Blastoff game now on Facebook, both solo and in multiplayer mode, and answer questions such as "Who was the first American to walk in space?" and "Who launched the first liquid-fueled rocket?"
Once in the game, you choose an avatar and answer 10 multiple-choice questions. Each correct answer earns 100 points, with a 20-point bonus to the player who answers first. The winner advances to the bonus round to answer one additional question for more points.
Correctly answering the bonus question earns you a virtual badge. The badges depict NASA astronauts, spacecraft, and celestial objects. You can use the points to obtain additional badges to complete sets and earn premium badges. There are also leader boards to track your progress against other game.
It appears the game has a huge repository of questions. You thus don't have to worry about being asked the same questions every time, and you'll also likely learn quite a bit from playing.
Space Race Blastoff was developed by Scott Hanger, Todd Powell and Jamie Noguchi of NASA's Internet Services Group in the Office of Communications. NASA says it chose to make the game available through Facebook "to take advantage of the social media site's large audience and enable players to compete against others."
"Space Race Blastoff opens NASA's history and research to a wide new audience of people accustomed to using social media," David Weaver, NASA's associate administrator for communications, said in a statement. "Space experts and novices will learn new things about how exploration continues to impact our world."