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Watch asteroid hunters play the Xtronaut game

Image: Xtronaut game
The Xtronaut board game gives players a taste of the science, economics and politics behind planning an interplanetary robotic mission. (Credit: Xtronaut via Amazon)

Watching a couple of guys play a board game on streaming video may not sound exciting – unless those two guys also play the real-life asteroid-hunting game.

That’s precisely the situation facing Chris Lewicki, president and CEO of Planetary Resources, based in Redmond, Wash.; and Dante Lauretta, a University of Arizona professor who’s the principal investigator for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission.

They’ll be battling over the playing board – and discussing developments in asteroid science and exploration – during a Google Hangout that starts at 11 a.m. PT Friday.

The game in question is Xtronaut, a simplified simulation of the mission-planning process for interplanetary robotic exploration. Lauretta’s the co-creator of the board game, which lifted off last year thanks to Kickstarter.

“We have been playing this game in the office, and can assure you it is JUST like planning a real mission,” Lewicki says on the YouTube page touting the Hangout.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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