Gaming Our Way To Space


When I was a kid I wanted to be an Astronaut….. And a Ninja/Doctor/American Gladiator.

How about you?

Ever wanted to be an astronaut?

Of course you have.

Well, that’s going to take a few years and a few billion dollars. The next best thing is to plan space missions accordingly. NEW HORIZONS has successfully provided Fly-By Photos and Videos from Pluto (soon Charon and the Kuiper Belt).  But scientists are looking beyond just observation.


OSIRIS-REx is a mission to land on asteroid 101955 Bennu AND return to Earth with samples. A joint venture by NASA, Lockheed Martin, and the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Observatory; the spacecraft is slated to launch by September 2016 and travel for almost another 2 years (505 days) to a galactic time capsule. 101955 Bennu (Benny to his friends) is a carbonaceous asteroid with all of the essential materials and amino acids necessary to CREATE STUFF! Stuff like us and Ninjas…..

OSIRIS-REx Could also be the name of an amazing Dinobot....
OSIRIS-REx Could also be the name of an amazing Dinobot….

The total mission cost is around $800 Million, but let’s start with $15,000.

Dr. Dante Lauretta has launched XTRONAUT, a Kickstarter campaign to teach political and real-life strategies to planning space travel missions to children and anyone over 7 years old. The campaign is designed to address budget cuts to NASA satellite missions and their initiative to educate students across the country.  The game presents future space missions by assigning objectives such as total velocity change, types of rockets, and planets to assist with gravitational force. The missions are also hindered by real world issues such as international sabotage, budget cuts, and government shutdown.

If Only Card Games Could Solve Government Shutdowns.....
If Only Card Games Could Solve ACTUAL Government Shutdowns…..

Xtronaut represents more than an awesome card game but the first step in a new program to integrate solar system exploration with board gaming. We’re in a fascinating time where any person can take part of scientific innovation with a few dimes off of the dollar. In fact, the game is going to be given away to Boys and Girls clubs, as well as after-school programs and high school science clubs throughout the nation.

Without further ado, enjoy Dante Lauretta and Mike Lyon talking about the mission details.

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