Downlink! New Space Game Depicts Spacecraft Launches & Science | 11/14/2018 | Staff
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Xtronaut Enterprises' latest board game will take players on a journey across the solar system, letting them play as one of up to six international agencies doing space missions for science.

Called Downlink, the game encourages players to build rockets, build spacecraft, build science instruments — or even do all three things. And similar to real-life space missions, any choice a player makes will entail schedule and money constraints.

Game - Way - NASA - New - Frontiers

"It [the game] is modeled on the way that NASA runs the New Frontiers program," said Xtronaut collaborator Dante Lauretta, referring to the program NASA uses to send spacecraft to solar system targets. "You can't go where you want; you need to go where the [National Research Council] Decadal Survey says where the priority science is," he told

Lauretta has personal experience with this process: He is principal investigator of the OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) spacecraft, which is scheduled to arrive at Bennu on Dec. 3. OSIRIS-REx is one of NASA's New Frontiers missions.

Lauretta - Project - Michael - Lyon - Space

Working with Lauretta in this project is Michael Lyon, whose space law experience included putting togetherDennis Tito's space tourism flight on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft in April 2001. (Tito paid $20 million for his eight-day flight to the International Space Station, through the Virginia-based Space Adventures company.) Lyon worked on the game's rule book and administrative matters such as fulfilling orders, while Lauretta focused on game mechanics and validating the science.

In Downlink, players combine cards to pass through...
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