Building Spaceport KSC

People's Choice Nominee

Building Spaceport KSC received a People's Choice Nomination.

THE CHALLENGE: Space Route 66
Journey to Mars

Develop a game or virtual reality experience that allows users to build and explore a futuristic spaceport. Potential utilizations that could be incorporated:

  • Horizontal and vertical launch and landing
  • Suborbital and orbital tourist facilities (hotels, crew training experiences, exploration theme park attractions)
  • On-site spacecraft manufacturing facilities
  • Processing facilities for space resources

This is a future-spaceport building set which, as physical pieces are placed on a map surface, displays images and descriptions of that spaceport facility on a connected computer. The map and buildings will have embedded near-field communication sensors which signal the app to display information and media related to each installation. A 3D rendering will be constructed on-screen to match the layout of the physical building blocks placed on the map. A virtual-reality headset with controllers or motion sensors could provide an immersive, interactive tour of each spaceport design.

Using a physical analog to the virtual design makes the experience and information accessible to people of all ages and those with physical or cognitive limitations which might be a barrier to participation in a purely digital activity. The building blocks used alone can spark experimentation, play, and conversation without the computer.

The initial set will include key structures such as a vehicle assembly and maintenance hangar, fixed and mobile launch pads, cargo processing depot, passenger terminal, research & development lab, green power generation, and emergency services. The information display will allow age- or interest- based settings and can include:

  • Images, video, and renderings of the building
  • Text and/or audio descriptions
  • Future configuration as part of a multi-user spaceport
  • Benefits and costs associated with operation as a NASA and/or private facility
  • NASA and Kennedy Space Center history relating to each part of the spaceport

The building set could also serve as the basis for individual challenges and multi-player games involving resource management, spaceflight innovation, and environmental stewardship. Data and multimedia resources from NASA and private spaceflight companies could expand the virtual construction library, including additional facilities and excursions from the spaceport into orbit and beyond. Hobbyist 3D printers and off-the-shelf components would allow possibilities for the physical building blocks to be as limitless as the virtual.

Team #AllYrSpace -- #SpaceAppsTampa

Resources Used

NASA Ground Systems Development and Operations

Kennedy Space Center Master Plan

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Scratch programming - MIT Media Lab

Makey Makey for prototyping

Google Earth

Made inTampa, FL USA
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