credit Virtual Heroes / caption: Could this ascent vehicle be modelled after the famed DRM 5.0?

NASAWatch has linked to the first online reports about NASA’s massively multiplayer online game, reported on by Hyperbola way back in January 2008, which we now know to be called Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond and according to this website the game will have an Armageddon-style scenario (note: the above image is of a Mars mission)

The development team is crafting a series of events and missions that will start with the possibility of a near earth object impact hazard and expand to offer other reality-based challenges to gamers over time.

The says the NASA first-person perspective MMO demo game will be out during this third quarter (or fall for you Americans) and the full game is out in 2010. It is being produced by the company, Virtual Heroes, which made America’s Army  

The report qoutes the company as saying that it has access to NASA’s “digital assets” by which I think they mean the basic CAD data for the Constellation vehicles

But looking at the released images so far the Moonbase looks nothing like the surface element designs the Constellation programme has made public and interestingly there are no images of the rockets or Orion or Altair. Unless the objects in the pics are just placeholders while the gameplay is tested?

If you go to the Virtual Heroes website they have images that look more like the NASA Constellation designs. According to players will be able to use photos of themselves to create avatars and use voice over-IP to talk to other players

Personally I am looking forward to seeing the final Mars mission vehicles, will they give us an insight into the as yet unreleased design reference mission five?