Space, Let’s go to Mars: an educational video game to explore the Red Planet
An educational video game to explore the Red Planet, designed for children and adults, and which in a few months has reached over 100,000 downloads already. Let’s go to Mars has been developed by scientists from the international consortium UPWARDS (Understanding Planet Mars With Advanced Remote-sensing Datasets and Synergistic Studies), which brings together seven European scientific institutions including the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), with the aim to analyse data collected by the European Mars Express missions and other missions to Mars. The project was funded under the European Horizon 2020 programme.
“Let’s go to Mars is a scientific graphic adventure in which you must land on Mars, explore the surface of the planet, build a permanent base for the arrival of your colleagues, collect and analyze Martian samples, and face the many dangers that exist on the Red Planet”, explained Marco Giuranna of the Institute for Space Astrophysics and Planetology (INAF-IAPS) in Rome, among the UPWARDS researchers. “The game is set in a not too distant future in which humans land on Mars for the first time to establish the first permanent human settlement on that planet”.
During the game, users have the opportunity to build a rover using the pieces of ExoMars, the mission to Mars of the European Space Agency (ESA) scheduled for 2020, meet Martians and visit the most spectacular and inaccessible places of Mars, such as the Valles Marineris and Olympus Mons, respectively one of the largest canyons and the largest volcano discovered so far in the Solar System.