Mars Rover Landing Game for Xbox
NASA unveiled a new video game Monday to mark the landing of its huge Curiosity Mars Rover on August 5. This game takes the players through spacecraft's seven minutes of terror of a landing.
Produced in collaboration with Microsoft, the game Mars Rover Landing plays on Xbox 360 system using the kinetic motion sensor. The officials said that it is available for free in Xbox Live Marketplace and Kinect Central.
To play the Mars Rover Landing game, players will use body movements, read by the Xbox 360's Kinect motion controller, to control the craft and attempt to land it safely on Mars. "We've tried to simulate that heart-pounding, sweat-dripping seven minutes using Kinect and using users' control of their bodies to get the landing right," Microsoft's Dave McCarthy says.
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The Mars rover game simulates the three stages of curiosity's landing. Once they are in the atmosphere of Mars, the craft is travelling at about 13,000 mph. The players will use the positioning of their arms, hands and body to control direction, speed an overall velocity of how the rover is settling down. The players need to proceed into the right angle and gently guide into the soft landing. They are being scored on the basis of how well they complete the three different stages.
McCarthy says, "I would classify it as a gamification of the landing sequence itself."
Prior to Mars rover games it was in the 1970s that we've had games like Lunar Lander and Atari.
McCarthy says, "In spirit it has a lot in common with that, but look at how far we've come in the sophistication of the systems necessary to accomplish what we are doing now. I hope that also comes through to people it is an amazing sequence of events."
For those who have no access to an Xbox or want to drive the rover around on the ground, NASA offers a game in beta testing called Explore Mars: Curiosity that lets you take the controls of the robot once on the surface.
"Technology is making it possible for the public to participate in exploration as it never has before," Michelle Viotti, JPL's Mars public engagement manager, said in a statement. "Because Mars exploration is fundamentally a shared human endeavor, we want everyone around the globe to have the most immersive experience possible."