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This article was published on January 30, 2012

NASA launches multi-player Facebook game ‘Space Race Blastoff’

NASA launches multi-player Facebook game ‘Space Race Blastoff’
Drew Olanoff
Story by

Drew Olanoff

Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for onlin Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for online charitable movements. He founded #BlameDrewsCancer. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or email [email protected]

NASA might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to playing games on Facebook, but the space agency has dipped its toe into uncharted territory yet again today.

If you’re a space nut or would like to learn more about the history of the space program, the multi-player Facebook game “Space Race Blastoff” from NASA might be right up your alley. Multi-player games are perfect for Facebook since it’s easy to get a friend or two involved. You might want to play it with people you don’t know at first to save yourself from embarrassment, as I did.

The three player game asks you a series of multiple choice questions about everything that has ever happened in the space program, bundled with science and math questions. This is a great game for the kids to play.

NASA has done extremely well on social networks, with a massive following on Google+ and Twitter. The government-funded agency has released a series of apps sharing photos from space as well as live video of launch events as well. This latest Facebook game is yet another move to expand its footprint on the web.

Here’s what associate administrator for communications at NASA, David Weaver, had to say about Space Race Blastoff:

Space Race Blastoff opens NASA’s history and research to a wide new audience of people accustomed to using social media. Space experts and novices will learn new things about how exploration continues to impact our world.

There are leaderboards which will track your progress as you play the game with friends and strangers, earning you badges along the way for a job well done.

I’ve played the game five times and haven’t been asked any questions more than once, so it’s safe to say that a good chunk of the NASA archives have been converted into questions for the game. It will be interesting to see if this game gets the attention of other government agencies who are trying to connect to a younger crowd to engage and educate them. Facebook is a perfect place to get started, and quite a public one too, so be sure to do your homework before playing.

Space Race Blastoff on Facebook