To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission, space science 'em up Astroneer has turned its attention a little closer to home in a big update and time-limited event. Available now and running until August 31st, System Era Softworks are sending players to the barren moon of Desolo to search for the NASA lunar lander. Players who discover the old relic will get a chance to pose for a photo opportunity (using its still-functioning TV cameras) and unlock some commemorative goodies. Of course, there's a bit more to the update, as you can see in the video below.
The lunar lander mission seems rather mundane when compared to the lush and strange alien worlds of Astroneer, but it's a good reminder of what actual space science looks like. Slow, careful exploration to dusty, empty places, hoping for a grand discovery but still just happy to be standing anywhere but Earth. On a more practical note for current players, they've added a pair of new T-platform modules and storage silo types to 3D print and expand your space-base with. You can never have too much Science Stuff, and it's rude to just leave it lying around. Go tidy up your base.
One last cute bonus in this patch: You can find delivery airbags containing fireworks. Each planet gives different colours, so you'll have to scour the entire solar system with pals if you want to put on a real show. There's also been a few bug fixes (fully explained in the patch notes here), and a few quality of life features added. Rovers are now self-righting and no longer require you to get out to flip them back onto their wheels. Players can now more easily clean up stray 'wrecked' platform legs using a shredder, and tooltips will let you know when your mutant seeds are growing.
Astroneer is currently 25% off on Steam, Humble and the Microsoft Store, reduced to £17.84/€20.99/$22.49. The game is also part of the Xbox Game Pass subscription on PC, so if you're signed up, no need to buy it.