If NASA is ever able to put a man on the moon again, or on Mars, it’s very likely that the agency will owe a bit of thanks to a small Maryland video-game developer. In recent months, Vision Videogames has been putting the finishing touches on SpaceStationSim, a game timed for publication when the next space shuttle launches, supposedly this spring. As its title suggests, the game lets players pretend they’re astronauts on the International Space Station in a 3-D, simulated environment. But pure fantasy this is not. In fact, Vision Videogames designed the game using technical specifications from NASA as part of a Space Act agreement. And now the company is under contract to play a crucial role in the development of the crew exploration vehicles, or CEVs, that could someday prowl around the moon or Mars.