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.