NASA and Minecraft want you to build and launch rockets in new Artemis missions worlds

NASA's famous moon mission from 2022 is available in Minecraft flair.

The Artemis 1 moon mission will lift off in Minecraft via a partnership between Microsoft and NASA, allowing young makers to fly a virtual Space Launch System rocket and control the Orion spacecraft using Python coding.

"Players will learn about the key considerations that go into rocket design, propulsion, and the demands of flying into space. This will help them to understand the complex science behind rocketry," Minecraft Education representatives wrote in a blog post (opens in new tab) Tuesday (March 7).

"By putting their problem-solving skills and creativity to the test, they'll gain a deeper appreciation for the science behind space exploration and develop important skills, like teamwork and communication," the post added.

Related: Entire known universe recreated in Minecraft by 18-year-old

Screenshot of NASA's Artemis 1 rocket lifting off to space in Minecraft block form. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Artemis 1, a key test of the Artemis program, flew an uncrewed trio of mannequins around the moon and back during a 25-day mission in November and December 2022. Livestreams from deep space allowed people of all ages to follow along as the spacecraft beamed home images of the Earth and moon in high definition.

"This new frontier in Minecraft reflects NASA's priority of pushing the boundaries of exploration on the moon, Mars and beyond," agency administrator Bill Nelson said in  a separate NASA statement (opens in new tab).

The target audience for the Minecraft Artemis endeavor is for students ages eight and up, NASA officials added, to "encourage them to see themselves as future astronauts or scientists."

More details and downloads on the Minecraft Artemis adventures are available here (opens in new tab).

Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of "Why Am I Taller (opens in new tab)?" (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab).

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for (opens in new tab) for 10 years before joining full-time, freelancing since 2012. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: