By Alice O'Connor on April 2nd, 2014 at 2:00 pm.
In its ongoing mission to tag the solar system with flags like a bunch of billion-dollar badboys, NASA plans to rocket off to an asteroid then drag it back over to Earth so we can have a good poke around. It’ll be years before that happens though, so for now we’ll have to settle for recreating the mission in the world’s most realistic space simulator. In collaboration with NASA, Kerbal Space Program has launched an update with missions to capture asteroids and oodles of new spaceship bits to help achieve that.
Asteroids now buzz merrily around Kerbin, presenting both valuable research opportunities and new ways for your launches to go wrong. In two new Asteroid Redirect Mission scenarios, Jeb and friends will need to make contact with space-rocks, latching on to study and shove them about.
The update does have a fair grounding in reality, adding parts including super-sized engines and fuel tanks inspired by NASA’s planned Space Launch System rocket, the escape tower from Apollo rockets, and the Space Shuttle’s solid boosters. Then it also adds a giant claw to grab and maul anything you jolly well please, from orbiting asteroids to innocent Kerbals, which may not be something we see in the real world until space travel becomes cheap enough for space-demolition derby.
Hit the patch notes for the skinny on everything new, including an overhaul of part joints so your ships are less likely to split in dreadful ways.