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NASA Releases "Sector 33" Air Traffic Control Game

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. macrumors bot




    NASA, the U.S. space agency has released a new iOS game called Sector 33. The educational title aims to teach youngsters math and reasoning skills as they act the role of an air traffic controller in charge of ATC Sector 33 as they guide planes to San Francisco International Airport from the East over California and Nevada.

    Players adjust multiple planes' path and speed to safely reach a target location in the sky in the fastest time possible while keeping the plans a safe distance apart.

    NASA is no stranger to iOS apps, having launched an iPhone app in 2009 to help users stay on top of the latest NASA news.

    Sector 33 is available free for iPhone and iPad from the App Store. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: NASA Releases "Sector 33" Air Traffic Control Game
  2. macrumors 603


    I guess they're trying to get the next generation prepared for when this guy becomes president*:


    *I neither support nor actually expect him to win, I just thought the image was pretty funny and fit the topic well enough.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Shuttle program shut down? Lets make video games!
  4. macrumors 603


    So it's Flight Control, but much more realistic looking?

  5. macrumors G5


    More math, less freehand drawing, I think.

    NASA has other cool apps too (non-game).
  6. macrumors 68020

    About the only thing they can afford to do these days.
  7. macrumors Core

    looks pretty cool. i'll have to give it a go and see how it compares to reality.
  8. macrumors member

    They should have made it paid, NASA need the money to get to mars damn it! XD

    will try this app however, it's like flight control for boffins :)
  9. macrumors demi-god


    Interessting for enthusiasts ... So I got it ... But really only for hard core plane lovers :rolleyes:

    Flight Control HD has the better music :eek:
  10. macrumors 65816

    ... -_________________-
  11. macrumors 65816

    While I appreciate the sarcasm, NASA does much more than Shuttle. The Aeronautics part is deeply involved in a lot of non-space research; and produces a lot of useful (and often free) material of interest to pilots, researchers and engineers. Glenn, for example, has some great educational DVDs on icing. I've used some of NASA's human factors research in my work.

    Shuttle is neat, but it's the very visible tip of a much larger organization.

    As for the game, It looks cool, but then again one of my favorite games was an old MS-DOS ASCII ATC simulator.

    Flight Control is fun, as is ATC but this looks like a more realistic simulation.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    They should sell Apps and get more money :( I want to go to the moon!
  13. macrumors regular

    I saw a presentation about this at a math conference. It was paid for with money that must be put towards projects like this. It wasn't that much money relative to all the other stuff NASA does.

    It comes with a ton of stuff that's good for the classroom, and as a math teacher, it's an excellent teaching tool. There's good descriptions, workbooks, computer simulators, and it's challenging too. Stuff like this would usually cost schools quiet a lot of money, and then they aren't always good and just push more of the makers own crap.

    It's a perfect answer to "when are we going to use this stuff?" that you get in a classroom CONSTANTLY.

    And it makes math fun for kids.
  14. macrumors 68020

    Ain't gonna happen with NASA.
    Need to commercialize space big time, and the Russians are doing a better job of that for the moment.
  15. macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Well I happen to know people here personally working on Apps for NASA or their contractors (I live in Clear lake) and often times things like this these are things that the guys made to experiment and learn how to do things on the mobile OS. Often times it does not take much work to finish the clean up and make it look a little better.
    That or the core of it was done for some other project and it could easily be made into a game with limited work.

    You basically are getting things that the employees are learning how to code on given out.
  16. macrumors 68030

    Yeah, there are plenty of 'drawing a path' cartoony games already in the App Store, so this seems like a nice change of pace. And hey its free and looks very scientific- you can probably fake out your grandma and tell her you are doing real traffic control on your iPhone.
  17. macrumors 601


    Except that the next two ISS launches have been delayed because of defects and the fleet was grounded last August. So... Other than not being able to fly, they're doing great! :D
  18. macrumors newbie

    Very Addicting Game

    I guess this belongs in a review section or something, but the game is really addicting. I am 3/4 of the way through it. I think my wife got tired of my staring at my phone at dinner. It makes you think of a lot of aspects at the same time...time and speed. Hopefully if I beat it I can get recruited to be a flight controller! I wonder what that pays? :)
  19. macrumors G5


    I guess they have to make money someplace, but most of the NASA stuff is free anyway. No Mars mission ( probably not in my lifetime either) China will probably get to the Moon, and then what?

    If they charge for this, well good luck to them. I know they are desperate to raise profiles and put the public interest back, if it helps, then great.
  20. macrumors 65816


    Several Mars missions have been called failures that weren't, including Russian missions. Here is something to think about - you may remember this incident.....


    Is this at all interesting? A little bit scary?
  21. macrumors newbie

    I totally fell in love with that game, completed it in one evening. Can you recommend some similar games?
  22. macrumors member

    I liked it, the math you need is pretty basic but the more difficult levels do require some thinking, memory and timing. IMO it was a bit short though.
  23. macrumors 6502a

    I don't get why people are crying about the space shuttle program. It was probably one of the biggest wastes in NASA history. It never accomplished any of its intended goals, and only stagnated human space exploration in low Earth orbit. If we had just used disposable space rockets like the Russians do, we would definitely have been further than just low Earth orbit.

    Sigh... at least NASA's JPL is doing wonders, if not the Florida coast. Can't wait for the next Mars Rover to land!
  24. macrumors 65816


    Google "Mars conspiracy". The missions aren't failing - that would be as absurd as having your car break down every time you go for a drive.

    The irony is that there is no coverup; all of the data you need to know what's on Mars has been released, just not through official channels.
  25. jamewhite86, Feb 3, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    NASA Releases "Sector 33" Air Traffic Control Game

    NASA's associate administrator for education. "Using an interactive game to spark their interest, while at the same time teaching them fundamental math concepts, is a win-win scenario. It is a perfect way to help cultivate the next generation of engineers and technologists." thanks for information.

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