• Kerbal Space Program To Add NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission to Game


    Collaboration kicks off at SXSW Gaming with first reveal during a live panel on show floor

    The Planet Kerbin has a new partner in the exploration of its solar system. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has joined forces with Kerbal Space Program to create Kerbal Space Program: Asteroid Redirect Mission, a special update that adds realistic NASA rocket parts and missions to the award-winning indie space agency sim game.

    The mission shares the same name as the three-part mission which started in 2013 and is currently projected to be completed in 2022 with a manned mission onto an orbiting asteroid beyond the Moon. Kerbal Space Program and NASA will share the stage at SXSW Gaming on Saturday at 12:30 in the Palmer Events Center in Austin, Tex. The panel will offer the first look at the in-game mission as well as discuss the process of taking a real mission that is still highly conceptual and assembling it in Kerbal Space Program.

    “Kerbal Space Program is about giving gamers the chance to dream big, even if they’re not astrophysicists. This relationship with NASA, the very beacon of big dreams and imagination, is going to give players a real opportunity to learn about the universe we’re living in,” Kerbal Space Program lead developer Felipe Falanghe said. “The Asteroid Redirect Mission is going to be one of the rewarding and challenging accomplishments in all of gaming. We can’t wait to see our current and future players take on this mission and perhaps, teach NASA a few tricks along the way.”

    The mission mirrors NASA’s real operation in many ways. Namely, players will tackle the same three steps as NASA:

    • Identify: Detect, target, distinguish and select the asteroids that you want to move
    • Redirect: Build a rocket ship and set course to intercept the moving asteroid, then position your ship to redirect the asteroid’s trajectory
    • Research: Send your Kerbals on EVA (extravehicular activity) around the asteroids to conduct experiments on the object and gather valuable scientific data as it (and you) hurtle through deep space


    “The collaboration with Kerbal Space Program can help drive interest by future explorers in next-generation technology development and deep space exploration, said Bob Jacobs, deputy associate administrator for Communications at NASA. “Having an element of the experience based in the reality of NASA’s exploration initiatives empower players to manage their own space program while getting valuable insight into the reality of studying asteroids as a next step in getting to Mars.”

    Nearly a dozen new parts, including the game’s biggest fuel tanks, will help players tackle what is the most ambitious NASA mission to date. Another new part is the robotic grappling device, which players will use to snare the rock and redirect it into orbit around the Mun, Kerbin or other planets. This new device can also grab things other than asteroids, making it one of the most versatile parts added to the game. These new parts will not only help the Asteroid Redirect Mission but will also offer both new and old players the chance to experiment more in the game’s open sandbox mode.
    Comments 41 Comments
    1. Deathsoul097's Avatar
      Deathsoul097 -
      Ooh! I like the sound of the Grapple! Also, so this means that the NASA size parts are stock, or are we getting new stock sizes which the NASA pack will conform to?
    1. bigdad84's Avatar
      bigdad84 -
      Exciting! Out of the whole thing, the "grapple" excites me!
    1. KvickFlygarn87's Avatar
      KvickFlygarn87 -
      Balls, that's awesome.
    1. webkilla's Avatar
      webkilla -
      An official robot arm part? Waldos, in my KSP? Oh I can't wait!
    1. dahud's Avatar
      dahud -
      Quote Originally Posted by webkilla View Post
      An official robot arm part? Waldos, in my KSP? Oh I can't wait!
      Well, it's not a true waldo unless it is controlled directly by hand movement. Hmmm, I'm having an idea for my next KSP joystick build...
    1. ArmchairGravy's Avatar
      ArmchairGravy -
      Holy smokes. The more details that get released about this update the more awesome it gets!
    1. Raptor831's Avatar
      Raptor831 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Deathsoul097 View Post
      Ooh! I like the sound of the Grapple! Also, so this means that the NASA size parts are stock, or are we getting new stock sizes which the NASA pack will conform to?
      IIRC, I think someone said the new larger parts would be the 3.75m size, so the next size up. Should be the same as KW and NovaPunch 3.75m parts. But heck, they are creating SLS-inspired parts, so it could be up to the 5m size.
    1. JimmyAgent007's Avatar
      JimmyAgent007 -
      Grapples? Thats kinda what i suggested before i knew this whole thing was being done. Sweet!
    1. Woopert's Avatar
      Woopert -
      Just finished reading this off of Tumblr... all very exciting!
    1. Needles_10's Avatar
      Needles_10 -
      HUHWHAT

      Friends, this is a milestone in both KSP and NASA history. A major one for the former, and one of uncertain importance for the latter. NASA Employees are not only playing this game, but they are working on an update for it. My colleagues, we're now halfway to anywhere.
    1. dodrian's Avatar
      dodrian -
      I thought for a glorious moment that March 7-9 was an estimated release date.

      Still incredibly excited about this though! A grappling arm! Larger fuel tanks! An new mission mechanic!

      Incredible work by the dev team as always. How awesome is it to be collaborating with NASA?
    1. Andon's Avatar
      Andon -
      Quote Originally Posted by dodrian View Post
      I thought for a glorious moment that March 7-9 was an estimated release date.

      Still incredibly excited about this though! A grappling arm! Larger fuel tanks! An new mission mechanic!

      Incredible work by the dev team as always. How awesome is it to be collaborating with NASA?
      Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if they did. The SXSW thing has a Kerbal game challenge thingy running during it - What better to have the players do than the brand shiny new mission?
    1. Cpt. Kipard's Avatar
      Cpt. Kipard -
      Quote Originally Posted by dodrian View Post
      I thought for a glorious moment that March 7-9 was an estimated release date
      You should know by now; Squad don't announce release dates.

      Anyway, super psyched for this. I wonder if this mission and all possible other missions will be available in sandbox mode. If not, I should finish my techtree ASAP, and just hope that the new update doesn't break the save.
    1. Shuttle's Avatar
      Shuttle -
      Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Kipard View Post
      You should know by now; Squad don't announce release dates.
      They do: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/...3-Release-Date
      One major element of KerbalKon has to do with update 0.23. We’re going to be spilling all the details on the release that just so happens to be launching this Tuesday, December 17.
    1. EndOfTheEarth's Avatar
      EndOfTheEarth -
      “Having an element of the experience based in the reality of NASA’s exploration initiatives empower players to manage their own space program while getting valuable insight into the reality of studying asteroids as a next step in getting to Mars.”
      If returning an asteroid to Munar orbit is easier than getting to Duna, I'll eat my forum signature.

      That said, super psyched anyway--can't wait to use and abuse the new parts!
    1. Pockrtplanesairways's Avatar
      Pockrtplanesairways -
      Whoop, Just had a Nerdgasm
    1. vger's Avatar
      vger -
      The only thing that saddens me here is it sounds like we won't actually be able to land on the asteroids (or dock with them in the case of something like using magnets to latch onto a heavy iron asteroid). Are the asteroids technically ships, or bodies with regard to how they interact with everything else?

      That aside, I LOVE the grapple idea anyway. KSP so desperately needs an official "Canadarm" equivalent.
    1. Kerbart's Avatar
      Kerbart -
      Quote Originally Posted by Needles_10 View Post
      My colleagues, we're now halfway to anywhere.
      You mean we made it into orbit?
    1. Andon's Avatar
      Andon -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kerbart View Post
      You mean we made it into orbit?
      I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought that.
    1. Deathsoul097's Avatar
      Deathsoul097 -
      Quote Originally Posted by vger View Post
      The only thing that saddens me here is it sounds like we won't actually be able to land on the asteroids (or dock with them in the case of something like using magnets to latch onto a heavy iron asteroid). Are the asteroids technically ships, or bodies with regard to how they interact with everything else?

      That aside, I LOVE the grapple idea anyway. KSP so desperately needs an official "Canadarm" equivalent.
      It seems that they will be a procedurally generated body that interacts as a ship, and that "Docking" with them is done by using the grapple. I am willing bet that within a week of 0.24/NASA pack release there will be space stations using Asteroids as their cores.