NASA is collaborating with Microsoft to bring space missions to Minecraft
Microsoft has partnered with NASA to allow Minecraft players to launch their own moon rockets and experience life as an astronaut aboard the Orion spacecraft.
NASA has set its sights on returning humanity to the moon for the first time since the 1970s as part of the Artemis program. For this ambitious multi-decade mission to succeed, humanity will need to develop complex technologies and inspire a whole new generation of astronauts, engineers, and scientists to keep up the good work.
3…2…1 lift off! The #Artemis Missions have landed in Minecraft in partnership with @NASA! ? ?
Design your own rocket and navigate the Orion space capsule on a mission to the moon! #MinecraftEdu
— Minecraft Education (@PlayCraftLearn) March 7, 2023
To this end, NASA has collaborated with Microsoft to create a series of interactive lessons set within Minecraft, the goal of which is to inspire children to imagine themselves as astronauts of the future, while introducing them to the key objectives and technologies that will support the Artemis program.
During this experience, students will learn about the basics of rocketry and the challenges involved in piloting missions and surviving in outer space. The newly created Minecraft worlds include Artemis: Rocket Build and Artemis: Return to the Moon, all of which are available for free download through the Minecraft platform.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said:
NASA strives to reach the widest audience and inspire the Artemis generation to prepare them for the missions of tomorrow. Through our partnership with Microsoft, these new frontiers in Minecraft reflect NASA’s priority to push the boundaries of exploration on the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
The world of Artemis: Rocket Build will provide players with learning on a NASA Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which successfully completed its maiden flight in November last year. Students will then be required to juggle fuel and budget constraints while creating and customizing their own rockets capable of launching satellites and crew into space.
Meanwhile, Artemis: Return to the Moon will encourage students to use block-based coding or Python to control a digital version of the agency’s Orion capsule as they complete mini-tasks and finish challenges in space as part of the Orion astronaut crew.