Set far in the future of humankind, Mass Effect: Andromeda chronicles the journey of a group of intrepid pioneers who become the first humans to travel outside our galaxy. Yet even as it builds this unknown world, Mass Effect never forgets those who are pioneering today, throwing in a handful of loving references to SpaceX and the ESA, among others.
In the game's history, humans discover alien technology on Mars in the year 2148. This tech enables them to rapidly enhance their own spacefaring technology, leading humankind to the edge of the solar system -- and to a gate to the galaxy beyond. According to a codex in the newest game, all this was only made possible due to one pioneering space exploration company -- SpaceX.
In Ryder's cabin on the Tempest, a small model labelled 'SpaceX Model' can be found. While the game doesn't specify, it sure looks a lot like the Falcon Heavy, the SpaceX rocket that's set to become the most powerful in the world. Here's (part of) the codex that comes with it:
ESA and its theoretical 'Lowell City' are major players in Mass Effect's fictional history, so it's fitting that ESA gets its own shoutout:
Interestingly, it includes not only past missions like ExoMars that you'd no doubt be familiar with, but planned missions like Mercury explorer BepiColombo and the Jupiter Icy moons Explorer or 'Juice'.
It's also curious that, in Mass Effect's timeline, the first colony on Mars is established all the way in 2103, while NASA's Journey To Mars optimistically hopes to achieve such a goal as early as the 2030s. Maybe we'll be finding that Mass Relay sooner than we thought.