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'Mars Horizon' space race simulator launches on Nov. 17

Soon you can run your own space agency from your computer or console. "Mars Horizon" announced its release date will be Nov. 17, and you can preorder it now.

The space agency management game will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch and PC. The goal of the game is to create your own space program to move around the solar system. You start with trips above Earth and as you gain experience and technology, then move through key program milestones such as launching to the moon.

"The game was created with the support of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK Space Agency. Both organizations have been integral to making Mars Horizon the game we wanted it to be, so we'd like to say an extra big thank you to them," Auroch Digital and The Irregular Corporation said in a press release Tuesday (Oct. 20).

Related: 10 best space games 

In recognition of today's multi-agency world, you can head ESA, NASA, Russia's Roscosmos, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) or the China National Space Administration, according to a gameplay trailer released earlier this month

Like any good space agency head, you will need to balance the risk of taking certain actions with the reality of how others react to your decisions. Space.com has explored some of these gaming choices, such as how to discuss UFOs with the public and whether to shoot for a moon mission.

"Players will have to manage the resources of time, science, public support and — of course — funds, as they work to complete missions and send their astronauts into space. Players will also contend with other rival agencies who have the same goal, and can choose to work together with them or venture out on their own," the Mars Horizon team said in a previous statement (opens in new tab).

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Elizabeth Howell
Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she also tackles topics like diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, three space shuttle missions in Florida, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Her latest book, Leadership Moments from NASA, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.