NASA launches mission simulator Web site

Online simulator lets the public pilot the space shuttle and visualize space communications

An interactive simulation Web site launched by NASA today enables anyone to experience space mission activities, such as docking the space shuttle at the International Space Station.

The online Space Communication and Navigation (SCaN) simulation is designed to be both educational and entertaining, according to NASA officials who made the announcement. Other simulations include a trip to Mars and a lunar impact. The interactive simulation also offers a virtual 3-D experience to visualize how data travels along various space communications paths.


Related content:

Space station astronauts get Web access

NASA’s Space Communication and Navigation simulation Web site


"The elaborate space communications networks that connect scientists and engineers with NASA's spacecraft is essential to all of NASA's missions and can be a challenging concept to comprehend," said Barbara Adde, a policy and strategic communications manager for NASA's Office of Space Communications and Navigation. "This simulation helps explain this complex infrastructure in an engaging way by using an interactive 3-D game."

The simulation site allows visitors to select spacecraft and experience a flythrough with images and descriptions of NASA's three space communication networks. For example, the Near Earth Network flythrough shows how data originates at an antenna at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica. The data is then sent to NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite, or ICESat, as it passes overhead.

"Making this interactive simulation available to young people is important and may lead them to consider a career in engineering, science or information technology as it relates to space," said Chris Kemp, chief information officer at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Shutterstock image (by wk1003mike): cloud system fracture.

    Does the IRS have a cloud strategy?

    Congress and watchdog agencies have dinged the IRS for lacking an enterprise cloud strategy seven years after it became the official policy of the U.S. government.

  • Shutterstock image: illuminated connections between devices.

    Who won what in EIS

    The General Services Administration posted detailed data on how the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract might be divvied up.

  • Wikimedia Image: U.S. Cyber Command logo.

    Trump elevates CyberCom to combatant command status

    The White House announced a long-planned move to elevate Cyber Command to the status of a full combatant command.

  • Photo credit: John Roman Images / Shutterstock.com

    Verizon plans FirstNet rival

    Verizon says it will carve a dedicated network out of its extensive national 4G LTE network for first responders, in competition with FirstNet.

  • AI concept art

    Can AI tools replace feds?

    The Heritage Foundation is recommending that hundreds of thousands of federal jobs be replaced by automation as part of a larger government reorganization strategy.

  • DOD Common Access Cards

    DOD pushes toward CAC replacement

    Defense officials hope the Common Access Card's days are numbered as they continue to test new identity management solutions.

Reader comments

Fri, Sep 28, 2012

Where can I fly on a NASA Flight Simulator, please give me the address.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group