NASA Invites Young People to Take Virtual Space Station Spacewalks

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MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- Imagine the thrill of floating out of the
International Space Station and into the emptiness of space and what
it would be like to work on the orbiting science laboratory. NASA has
developed a new video game, Station Spacewalk, to give young people
an "out of this world" virtual opportunity to experience the thrill
of working on a mission to the International Space Station from their

This new video game is based on actual work astronauts performed
during the course of several NASA missions. The game is part of
NASA's broader educational outreach effort to engage and inspire
students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

"It's all about getting the next generation excited about space
exploration," said Chris Kemp, chief information officer at NASA's
Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. "Players, or
'astronauts,' can virtually navigate their way through mission
critical tasks. This game provides players a sense of the magnitude
of complexity and thrill associated with NASA missions."

As an astronaut, players visualize a detailed virtual mock-up of the
International Space Station that was created for NASA's space station
program. Players participate in four critical spacewalks that provide
power to the station to keep it operating at full capacity. Players
must complete their tasks quickly and carefully, before the air
supply runs out.

Players begin by managing their way out of the airlock. The first task
is to install the S6 truss segment, the long "backbone" of the
station that supports the solar arrays. The player can open the S6
solar arrays, an essential task because they provide photovoltaic
energy for the space station. These tasks are based on the shuttle
mission to the space station that delivered the segment and deployed
the solar arrays.

Players then can use a robotic arm to repair a tear in a solar array,
a task NASA astronauts performed during another shuttle mission. When
the work is done, players must carefully collect tools that are
floating in space.

To take a virtual spacewalk in the Station Spacewalk game, visit:


For more information about NASA's education programs, visit:


For more information about the International Space Station, visit:


Information about the STS-119 mission, which deployed the station's S6
solar arrays, is available at:


Information about the STS-120 mission, which included repairs to a
damaged solar array, is available at:


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