Title:  Space Shuttle Academy (SSA)
Overall Rating:  B+ (Using below objectives)
Source:  United Space Alliance
Playing Time:  Minimum 45 minutes, up to several hours.
Date:  3-22-1999
Cost: $ 19.95  https://www.planet10.org/cgi-bin/webcart/webcart.cgi
Number of Players:  One
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed:  CD-ROM
Subject Area: Social Studies/History/Science
Objectives:  To learn about USA (United Space Alliance) and Space Shuttle Missions
Brief Description:  Space Shuttle Academy is primarily a database of information.  There are four primary areas:  History, Virtual Reality Tours, Chronology, and Mission Control Center.  Each part has several options from text to movies.  Within the MCC, a person may learn about some of the responsibilities and duties of the Flight Director and other personnel at MCC.
Entry Capabilities Required:  Player must be able to use a mouse.

Rating: (1-5)
             Relevance to objectives:  5 - As an information source.  However, the simulation of Mission
             Control and Flight Director's duties, I would rate as a 3 (see below:  Game: Winning...)  As an
             interactive learning tool, I would rate relevance a 1- A student could spend a great deal of time
             without gaining any new knowledge.
             Provides practice of relevant skills:  2 - I felt that SSA did not take advantage of skills such as
             creative thinking, planning, math, or use of scientific formulas.
             Likely to arouse/maintain interest:  3 - Information is detailed and would be excellent for reports.
             As for Flight Director simulation, I would question its' ability to hold the attention of experienced
             game players.
             Likely to be comprehended clearly:  4 - Information regarding shuttle flights (missions, crews,
             and payloads), both space centers and VR tours is extensive.  The experiment on the shuttle flight
             has no relevance.  The experiment could have at least used more scientific concepts.
             Technical quality (durable, attractive):  5 - Excellent sound, graphics and effects. 
             Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather than chance) 3 - Flight Director simulation
             was not dependent on learning;  however, a focused, motivated student would find the program
             full of information.
             Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic, accurate depiction):  4 - Although a Ph.D. is not
             required as would be for an astronaut, the depictions are accurate for example:  the launch
             countdown is actually 20 seconds.
             Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test results):  4 - 1998 Invision Award - Shuttle Academy
             CD-ROM wins Silver in the Entertainment category.  1998 Texas Interactive Media Achievement
             Awards - Shuttle Academy CD-ROM wins top honor in the Games and Entertainment category.
             No test results or comments were found by this reviewer.
             Clear directions for play:  4 - For someone not familiar with games, there is a definite lag time to
             decipher what to do.  For those professionals, they may become distracted quickly.
             Effectiveness of debriefing:  3 - Closure is not a strength of this program.  Details and accurate
             information for research are available, but only with work.

Strong Points:  The best part of SSA is the detailed information on the Space Shuttle flights within the Chronology section.  Two other strengths lie in the movie clips and VR tours.  I would recommend this as a computer lab or library purchase for an information resource.
Weak Points:  My primary concern addresses the simulator.  The Flight Director does not have many controls and is not as interactive as I had thought it would be.  Another challenge I had was within the blueprints of the History segment.  They were impossible to read; the print was too small.
Reviewer:  Mary Wells
Position:  Graduate Student
Date:  3-22-1999
Computer System Reviewed on:  Power Macintosh G3, 233, 64mb of RAM