WASHINGTON, March 9 (UPI) -- NASA says it is now offering the public an interactive computer program that allows virtual explorers to experience many space-related simulations.
The "Space Communication and Navigation," or SCaN, simulation offers a virtual 3-D experience to visualize how data travels along various space communication paths. NASA says it allows viewers to dock the space shuttle at the International Space Station, experience a virtual trip to Mars or a lunar impact, and explore images of star formations taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.
"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 NASA policy and strategic communications manager. "This simulation helps explain this complex infrastructure in an engaging way by using an interactive 3-D game."
The simulation is designed to excite young people about space and NASA's missions.
"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.
SCaN is available at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/3d_resources/spacecomm.html.