February 1, 2012
By Jim Moore
NASA has launched two free games aimed at inspiring the next generation of engineers and aviators—an air traffic control game adapted for Apple iPhone and iPad devices, and a multi-player space and technology trivia game hosted on Facebook.
Sector 33 puts players in the air traffic controller’s seat, directing virtual aircraft in a virtual airspace spanning California and Nevada. An Android version is also being developed. Designed for students in middle school and above, Sector 33 challenges players to solve air traffic math problems. Players set the speed and course of aircraft in order to reach destinations in the shortest possible time while maintaining traffic separation.
"Today's students respond positively to experiential learning," said Leland Melvin, NASA's associate administrator for education, in a news release. "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."
Space Race Blastoff tests knowledge of space program facts and history, awarding virtual badges depicting astronauts, spacecraft, and celestial objects.
FAA Information and Services
A father and his 14-year-old son were helping another pilot ferry a newly purchased aircraft from California to their home field in Virginia. The three made an overnight stop in Albuquerque before flying on to Illinois for fuel. But shortly after they parked the aircraft in Marion, Ill., they were approached by as many as 18 uniformed and non-uniformed law enforcement officers who came running toward the airplane.
The vanishing of five U.S. Navy aircraft in 1945 remains one of the legendary mysteries of aviation, one that may soon be solved.
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