Kerbal Space Program Launches NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission

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Squad, the developers of the award-winning, indie space agency sim game Kerbal Space Program, released the latest update for the still-in-development game with the Asteroid Redirect Mission patch.

This collaboration with NASA empowers players to learn more about the challenging proposal that started in 2013 and is projected for completion in 2022 with a manned mission onto an orbiting asteroid beyond the Moon. It also includes several new parts inspired by real NASA rockets, including the largest and most powerful parts in the game to date. A new animation trailer to commemorate the update is available here: http://goo.gl/NXlWeM.

“The Asteroid Redirect Mission is going to challenge our players like never before, as it creates new situations that have never been encountered before in the game, regardless if you’re a new or veteran player,” creator and lead developer Felipe Falanghe said. “Expect lots of new challenges to properly complete the mission, and lots of new features as well to help the Kerbals and you along the way.”  

The update focuses on the same three steps NASA is trying to accomplish in the real world mission – identify asteroids, redirect them into orbit and finally research them to gather valuable scientific data.

“When you’re planning a new mission, there is no shortage of people who have ideas on how to see it executed,” said Bob Jacobs, NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Communications at Headquarters in Washington. “Kerbal Space Program is an immersive experience where would-be rocket scientists and engineers can put those ideas to the test in innovative and creative ways.”

Players will have plenty of new rocket parts to use to achieve their objectives, including:

  • Advanced Grabbing Unit: This is where the Kerbals have taken the most liberty from their collaboration with NASA, this device can claw at asteroids and just about anything else, including Kerbals on EVA. Warranty void if used to pick up Kerbals.
  • Fuel tanks and Liquid Rocket Booster: Inspired by NASA’s SLS tanks, these modular tanks will give players plenty of freedom to intercept asteroids, while the modular liquid boosters can be configured to fit the players’ needs to attach as much fuel as needed to the engine
  • Solid Rocket Booster: Inspired by NASA’s Space Shuttle SRBs, this allows players to create launch assistance stages that can be jettisoned during flights
  • Main Engine Cluster and Upper Stage Engine: Based off schematics for a quad engine SLS configuration, the main engine cluster will be used for primary lifting stages while the latter part simulates the J2X engine and can assist players delivering heavy cargo or crew payloads to orbit
  • Launch Escape Tower: KSP already features an Orion-inspired crew capsule, so this LES, modelled after the iconic Apollo towers, will help players save their crew during the less fortunate launches of super heavy rockets

Existing KSP players can download the update through Steam or the  KSP website. New players will automatically get the update as part of the game’s download.

Kerbal Space Program is still in development and available as an Early Access title on its website, Steam, Greenman Gaming and Gamefly. Squad is continuing to develop the popular game, which won the Game Developers Choice Audience Award, beating out all titles nominated for a Game Developers Choice Award.

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