• Kerbal Space Program: Asteroid Redirect Mission - The FAQ


    What is Kerbal Space Program: Asteroid Redirect Mission?
    It is an update to Kerbal Space Program that is focused on a collaboration with NASA that offers KSP players a chance to play a virtual version of the real world mission with the same name. Players can select to update KSP to gain the new content, which includes asteroids, new rocket parts and more.

    What is the number for this update?
    Internally, we don’t really consider this a “numbered” update but as we need a number to let the patching system understand it exists and to let people know a new update is available, we will call it .23.5. But from here forth, it is known as Asteroid Redirect Mission, or ARM, for short.

    When is it coming out?

    It’s not out yet but we hope to finish up soon. ARM is currently being tested in the experimental phase, which is the final portion of the development process. Be aware that as we’re working with NASA, we wouldn’t recommend looking at timelines for prior updates.

    Is this a DLC/expansion pack?
    No. In addition to the many major features contained within, Asteroid Redirect Mission has so many ground level changes and fixes that the scope felt like that of a full fledged update, as opposed to something typically classified as DLC.

    Will this be a paid addition to the game then?
    Not at all. The ARM patch is going to be released as all our regular game updates have. If you’ve paid for KSP already, it won’t cost you anything. If you’re a new player, KSP currently costs $26.99 USD. We think it’s worth the price but if you aren’t sure, try our free demo and learn more from our knowledgeable community.

    What’s included in the update?
    Asteroids, for starters - lots of them and in all kinds of sizes. We’ve also added several new parts, including the largest engines and fuel tanks we’ve ever done, and one very, very special new part. Keep on reading for more about that.

    So does this mean NASA endorses KSP?

    No. It isn’t but they are collaborating with us so more people can learn about the very real threat asteroids pose to Earth by playing this mission.

    Is it true that people at NASA play KSP?
    Yes. We’ve heard many kind things from individuals at NASA and from people who work in just about every capacity of the aerospace industry.

    How did NASA and KSP start working together?
    We exchanged tweets and realized there was potential to collaborate on something together. Now we’re excited to work with them on this very ambitious mission.

    Is this 0.24?
    No, as noted above - if you’re into our update numbering system, this is technically 0.23.5 but we prefer to call it Asteroid Redirect Mission.

    So when is 0.24 coming out?
    We don’t have a date for you but we are happy to say that we’re working on it in conjunction with the Asteroid Redirect Mission. 0.24, with all the features we announced for it previously, is being developed in parallel with the ARM patch, so while we can’t promise a specific date, the releases shouldn’t be very far apart.

    What is this Claw thing?
    The Advanced Grappling Device, or “claw”, is your primary means of capturing an asteroid. The Claw works very much like a docking port, however, it doesn’t require a mate node to dock to. That means it can grab on to almost any object. Once grabbed on, you can even transfer fuel from the grabbed objects (provided they have any).

    How are the asteroids generated? Will they be belts?
    There is no asteroid “belt” as such. The asteroids appear in the solar system as they’re “spotted” near Kerbin. These spotted objects show up in the Map View as unknown objects, which means you don’t know a lot about them, other than that they’re there, and an approximation of how large they are. To find out more about these objects, you can start actively tracking them.

    How will asteroids be tracked?
    The Tracking Station facility at KSC now lets you start and stop tracking objects around the solar system, and if you start tracking an unknown object, you will discover more information about it, such as its object type, name, and orbital information (which means you get to see its trajectory). If you stop tracking an object, you’ll lose the orbital information, but you’ll still know its type and name, but if you leave an object untracked for too long, you’ll eventually lose it.

    How can you earn science from asteroids?

    Kerbals on EVA can approach an asteroid and collect samples from it. These samples provide very valuable data, and are unique to each asteroid, so every new asteroid will be a fresh source of science. Also remember that experiments are sensitive to your flight situation and celestial body, so being meticulous about it does pay off.

    Do asteroids have gravity?
    No, but these are asteroids small enough to be picked up and maneuvered by a spacecraft, so even the largest rocks out there aren’t large enough to have any appreciable pull on you.

    Can asteroids crash into Kerbin, and will that be a catastrophic event?
    Asteroids can most certainly crash into Kerbin, but even the largest objects aren’t large enough to cause any significant damage. In fact, the Kerbals and that space program of theirs have probably caused more damage to the planet than the asteroids ever could.
    Comments 120 Comments
    1. Rassa Farlander's Avatar
      Rassa Farlander -
      Love it!!! This answers a lot of questions and is very much appreciated!
    1. bulletrhli's Avatar
      bulletrhli -
      Is this new tracking station ability also playing a role in the future of KSP? Because if you can track objects in your solar system, then theoretically you can find planets and moons say.. in career mode??
    1. RocketPilot573's Avatar
      RocketPilot573 -
      Finally, a FAQ! Thanks! Oh, and I'm already making plans for The Claw. *evil laugh*

      Also, I think I can defiantly agree that this and .24 have reached a ".18 Update" level of awesomeness!
    1. Ethanol's Avatar
      Ethanol -
      This is awesome, can't wait to play this!
    1. AmpsterMan's Avatar
      AmpsterMan -
      I can just imagine the Asteroids:

      "The CLAW... Only he decides who will go and who will stay!"

      Loving it Squad.
    1. malonkey1's Avatar
      malonkey1 -
      I actually hope they use this to add an asteroid belt.
    1. JimmyAgent007's Avatar
      JimmyAgent007 -
      How many objects can you track at once? Can you still plant flags on them? Once you have a flag or ship on it, do you need to keep tracking it?
    1. SkyHook's Avatar
      SkyHook -
      Man I think a telescope addition to the tracking station would greatly add to the rolepl...ehem..science capability! At any rate, I can't wait for the update. #theclaw
    1. MasterGir's Avatar
      MasterGir -
      Nice to see actual content being added again.
    1. CalculusWarrior's Avatar
      CalculusWarrior -
      Who cares about the asteroids, I'm going to go wild with The Claw!
    1. Seawolf's Avatar
      Seawolf -
      "The Tracking Station facility at KSC now lets you start and stop tracking objects around the solar system"

      So I can just start tracking with the push of a button? I expected something a bit harder, like placing a telescope in orbit :/
    1. ddavis425's Avatar
      ddavis425 -
      So, about the fact that you can lose track of an asteroid if you don't track it for a while, what if I park that asteroid in a specific orbit? Would the asteroid still disappear if left unattended?
    1. Majiir's Avatar
      Majiir -
      Rowsdower, could you clarify whether the next version will be 0.23.1 (as would be the only sensible alternative to 0.24 or 1.0) or 0.23.10 as written? Semantically, the two are different, and incorrect information could cause problems for modders who use it to plan ahead.
    1. MalfunctionM1Ke's Avatar
      MalfunctionM1Ke -
      Question: Now that there are Asteroids in the game, how are the chances for a re-appearing MagicBoulder? #savethemagicboulder
    1. Sinner_D's Avatar
      Sinner_D -
      Quote Originally Posted by CalculusWarrior View Post
      Who cares about the asteroids, I'm going to go wild with The Claw!
      yah, honestly...asteroids already been done via add-on. but i am liking the claw thingy...ive got plenty of orbital debris which ive always wanted to have to clean up manually rather than magically remove.

      i for one am going to claw everything including asteroids.

      P.S. kickass with nasa def kudos for scoring that gig.
    1. BluetoothThePirate's Avatar
      BluetoothThePirate -
      Quote Originally Posted by ddavis425 View Post
      So, about the fact that you can lose track of an asteroid if you don't track it for a while, what if I park that asteroid in a specific orbit? Would the asteroid still disappear if left unattended?
      It probably shouldn't. But, if you've moved it, why not dock a probe to it as a tracking beacon?
    1. DoctorCruz's Avatar
      DoctorCruz -
      Can't wait. Hope to see this soon!
    1. SkyRender's Avatar
      SkyRender -
      All I can think of when I read about that claw part is, Danny2462 is going to do some seriously crazy things with it...

      Also, glad to have some chronological clarification on when we're going to see the ARM added to the game relative to 0.24!
    1. pss88's Avatar
      pss88 -
      Love last sentence ))
    1. EthanRutherford's Avatar
      EthanRutherford -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seawolf View Post
      "The Tracking Station facility at KSC now lets you start and stop tracking objects around the solar system"

      So I can just start tracking with the push of a button? I expected something a bit harder, like placing a telescope in orbit :/
      Not exactly, tracking works only for object that have been discovered. Just like the tracking center can track any ship you've launched, it can track an asteroid anywhere in the system. However, you cannot discover asteroids unless they pass very close to the planet Kerbin. So, yes, you simply press a button to track it. However, you have to see one before you can click that button. I'm pretty sure its not just a constant "I want an asteroid, *clicks button*. cool I have an asteroid."