Our pioneering astronauts over in the Kerbal Space Program just received an important update with help from NASA no less. That’s right, KSP and NASA bring you the Asteroid Redirect Mission which was developed to give you the opportunity to re-enact the real-life mission that NASA mission inside KSP. Users will be able to mimic NASA’s planned asteroid mission which they hope will be educational and fun.

This update to the Kerbal Space Program includes new equipment and environments for you to explore or exploit to your hearts content. Here are some of the highlighted new features:

* Asteroids:
Kerbin is no longer alone in its orbit. Nearby are countless objects that buzz in and out of its sphere of influence, some flying by harmlessly, others on impact trajectories. Ranging in size from just a few meters through 5 size classes up to gigantic objects weighing thousands of tons, these new objects should provide a new challenge for both new and veteran players. Each asteroid is procedurally generated, so no two are the same. Also, asteroids can have samples taken from them by EVAs, providing a constant source of valuable science data, right on the edge of Kerbin’s SOI.

* Object Discovery and Tracking:
Before you set out after an asteroid, you first need to identify and track them using the Tracking and Discovery features on the Tracking Station Facility. Select one of the unknown objects spotted near Kerbin, and start tracking it actively to reveal more information about it. Also mind that untracked objects can be lost if they’re left unobserved for too long.

* The Advanced Grabbing Unit (aka “The Claw”)
As the name probably implies, this new part is the means by which asteroids can be captured to be redirected. Just arm the device, approach the target carefully, and the claw will do the rest. It’s like a docking node, but without the need for a mate node on the other side. Better still, the AGU can be used to grab on to much more than just asteroids. In fact, it can pick up just about anything, even Kerbals.

* New SLS-inspired Size 3 parts:
We’ve added a host of new parts, featuring the largest engines and fuel tanks ever seen in KSP. These new parts were designed based on NASA’s upcoming Space Launch System, and they pack a huge amount of rocket power.

* Completely Overhauled Part Joints:
We have completely re-done the way parts attach to one another, to allow for much greater flexibility and control over each joint. Joints are also more accurate and stable, as both jointed sides are now anchored at the attachment node (this wasn’t possible before the Unity 4.3 update).

Be sure to pickup Kerbal Space Program on Steam so you can enjoy creating your own space agency with custom rockets and missions today.

For a complete list of changes, click show for the official patch notes.

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* New SLS-styled Parts:

 

– Size 3 Liquid Fuel + Oxy Tanks, in Full, Half and Quarter-Sized Variants
– 4x Size 3 Engine Cluster. The single most powerful piece of rocketry we’ve ever added to KSP.
– Advanced Size 3 Single-Nozzle Engine, for when you need immense amounts of thrust in your upper stages
– New Liquid Fuel Booster: A new way to boost your spacecraft, the LFB is a single part featuring twin engines, plus a very respectable amount of fuel. What more, you can even stack more liquid fuel tanks on top of it.
– The Launch Escape System: Modelled after the Apollo LES, this new escape tower can save your crew should you underestimate the sheer power of your new rockets.

 

* New Part Joints:

 

– Large parts feature a new system that allows them to attach much more rigidly to other parts, eliminating many cases where spamming struts was required.
– Increased PhysX’s global max angular velocity settings to improve joint stability.
– Angular inertia values for parts now properly scale with mass. Some ships may feel heavier to fly now, but handling feels much more realistic overall. This also improves joint stability a lot.
– Re-did the Strut Connector joints as well, to use the new joints system instead of their old ones. This dramatically improved their reliability and significantly reduced the number of ocurrences where ships spontaneously disassemble themselves on the launchpad.

 

New Features:

 

* Added new buttons to the Map Filtering panel to filter Unknown and SpaceObject type vessels.
* Focusing vessels on the Tracking Station will now display their patched conics trajectory.
* Added Time Warp controls to the Tracking Station and Space Center scenes.
* Added a button to the Time quadrant in the main flight UI to allow switching betwen Mission Time and Universal Time.
* Targeted vessels now display their trajectories as patched conics instead of single orbits.
* Maneuver Nodes are now persistent.
* Targeted Objects are now persistent.
* Added buttons to discard/accept maneuvers on the delta-v gauge by the navball.
* Added buttons to add/remove an orbit to the date of a maneuver node, allowing nodes to be planned for several orbits ahead.
* Maneuver handles can now be fine-tweaked with the mousewheel when hovering over them.
* RCS and XenonGas containers on earlier stages are now drained before containers on later stages.
* Celestial Bodies now show a ‘Focus View’ button on their context menus in Map View.

 

Bug Fixes and Tweaks:

 

* Celestial bodies you have an encounter patch with will display that patch in local mode when they are focused on the Map View or Tracking Station.
* Switching between Linear and Rotation controls in Docking UI mode no longer toggles SAS.
* Fixed a bug where patched conics on extremely eccentric orbits could break the simulation at very high warp speeds.
* Fixed incorrect rendering of ascending and descending nodes when targeting a non-closed orbit.
* Fixed a bug where targeting an object on a hyperbolic orbit wouldn’t display rendezvous information on the map.
* Tweaked the thrust and Isp values of Ion Engines and the two tiny rocket engines. All were severely underpowered to be of any practical use.
* Quicksaving is now allowed at all times. In unstable situations, an autosave won’t be created at the same time.
* Greatly improved the accuracy of the physics->rails transition, eliminating drift on nearby vessels when warping during a rendezvous situation, especially high-velocity ones.
* The Map Filtering buttons now toggle independently on left click, and toggle single/all on right click.
* Fixed several cases where Kerbals on EVA would glitch out in very painful ways, mostly when the game changed reference frames while they were in ragdoll state.
* Intersection nodes between orbits no longer ‘skip’ the closest intersection when placing a maneuver node near the player’s position.

 

Release Notes:

 

* The ARM Patch (0.23.5) should not break backward-compatibility with previous saves. That said, however, do mind that we cannot account for mods, so don’t expect them all to work perfectly. If you experience any problems, make sure you try a clean install of the game without any mods, and a new clean save as well.

* The ARM Patch is available just as any other update. If you have the KSPStore version, you should be able to use the patcher to get yourself updated, or alternatively, download the complete package again. If you have the game on Steam, you should be auto-updated next time you run the game. Just make sure you haven’t disabled Steam’s auto-update system for KSP.

Source: KSP: Asteroid Redirect Mission