Everyone can build their own satellite thanks to an online game announced by NASA.
The game, "Build It Yourself: Satellite!" , lets players decide what the satellite will study. They can then determine the wavelengths, instruments and optics needed.
Once they launch the satellite they can see what it looks like and learn about missions similar to what a satellite like theirs would tackle. There will be information about missions ranging from those using small X-ray telescopes to the large Hubble Space Telescope.
The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., launched the game, which is meant to be a learning tool for both children and adults.
To play, players must have at least Flash 9 on their computers. It comes in two sizes and has ways to reduce the quality of graphics and help it run quicker on slower computers.
The game's inspiration comes from the James Webb Space Telescope being built now that NASA expects to launch in 2018. Phys.org reported that the new telescope, the most powerful ever built by NASA, will include a tennis-court sized sun shield and a large segmented mirror. It will also use infrared vision.
Susan Lin designed the artwork in the game. Kent deVillafranca programmed it.