Talk of NASA's upcoming MMOG has been circulating since last year, but it wasn't until March 20 that the agency formally announced its plans for Astronaut: Moon, Mars, and Beyond. They're going to partner with developers Information Place, Virtual Heroes and Project Whitecard to create the virtual world, which NASA hopes will build interest in space exploration among students.
Financially, the game won't demand much taxpayer dollars; most money is coming from individual investors and sponsors, although NASA will be lending its experts to the game's development.
Virtual Worlds News has dissected the announcement further. No word from beloved space explorer Buzz Lightyear just yet, but we'll keep an eye out.