Science

Exclusive: Astronaut Dan Tani brings realism to the Lunar Outpost board game at a new moon base.

It’s time to try your hand at creating a lunar outpost.

As NASA’s Artemis 1 lunar mission approaches its first unmanned flight this summer, moon lovers dreaming of futuristic moon bases on our lone satellite can quench their longing with a fantastic new board game from the German manufacturing company. games and toys by Ravensburger AG called Lunar Outpost.

Inspired by the award-winning PBS science series, Nova, and linked to the Amazon Alexa component that acts as mission control, Lunar Outpost. (will open in a new tab) is a co-op game where players work together with a team of astronauts to build a permanent settlement on the moon. This venture may take the form of a newcomer base, a habitat colony, a science lab, a research facility, or even a manufacturing plant.

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Lunar Outpost gameplay allows you to communicate directly with Mission Control via Alexa while facing unexpected dangers such as power surges, meteorite impacts, oxygen leaks, and other random disasters. Gamers can mine lunar elements to obtain the necessary building materials, and then activate and test the habitat’s capabilities to ensure the structure’s safety and integrity.

While the clock is ticking, your team must complete four core inner ring modules and six middle ring modules before the time runs out to consider the mission a complete success.

Box and game elements for the Lunar Outpost. (Image credit: Ravensburger AG)

Each Lunar Outpost Deluxe (will open in a new tab) The starter set contains 26 base pieces, 6 astronaut tiles, 50 crew cards, 105 lunar resources, 10 life support cubes, 1 first player tile, 10 offline tokens, 1 resource bag, 15 event cards, 1 die and the official rulebook. . Players not wishing to use the new Alexa feature can use the game’s Event Card Deck instead.

To give the project a special level of authenticity and realism, Ravensburger approached former NASA astronaut Dan Tani to help the designers create a space RPG that tells the authentic adventure on the moon.

Tani entered the astronaut program in 1996 and has flown on three NASA space shuttle missions, STS-108, STS-120 and STS-122, flying 34 hours of EVA during his distinguished career.

Promotional art for Lunar Outpost. (Image credit: Ravensburger AG)

Space.com reached out to Tanya about his involvement with Lunar Outpost to find out what aspects of the board game concept were most important to him and what players can expect as they embark on this challenging space adventure.

Space.com: How did you get involved with the Lunar Outpost project?

DAN TANY: The Ravensburger development team contacted me and asked about my interest in consulting on a space-themed board game. I was glad to cooperate, as I am interested in community service, education and games!

Space.com: What knowledge did you gain as a NASA astronaut to prepare to help create a space board game?

TANI: When designing something as complex as the International Space Station or a lunar outpost, game designers can’t just think about how the final object will work. It is also important to consider how everything will function and coexist at all stages of its creation.

Former NASA spacecraft astronaut Dan Tani during a flight to the International Space Station. (Image credit: NASA)

Space.com: What elements of Lunar Outpost gameplay were important to get right?

TANI: I was concerned about the accuracy of the terminology and the engineering aspects of building on the moon. I also wanted to make sure the visual aspect of the game was appealing and reflective of what we think we’ll end up sending to the moon.

Space.com: Why is it so important to have a real outpost on the moon in the near future?

TANI: The moon is a great “testbed” for the technologies, procedures and methods that need to be developed if we want to live off the earth. The Moon is “only” a few days from Earth and provides a “local” place to develop and hone our designs and skills. Equally important, the lunar outpost will provide us with a base for groundbreaking scientific research into the origins of the Moon and, in turn, our solar system and universe.

Lunar outpost Ravensburger AG (will open in a new tab) available for purchase now.

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