Kerbal Space Program to get virtual mission based on real-life NASA mission

Asteroid Redirect Mission is a go.

NASA is working with the people behind space agency sim Kerbal Space Program to create a special new mission for the game.

The Asteroid Redirect Mission adds realistic NASA rocket parts and missions to the game, developer Squad revealed on the Kerbal Space Program Tumblr.

The video game mission is named after the real-life mission that started in 2013 and is due to be completed in 2022 with a manned mission onto an orbiting asteroid beyond the Moon. In the game players will have to identify the asteroids they want to move, build a rocket ship and set course to intercept the moving asteroid before sending their Kerbals off to conduct experiments and gather scientific data.

The update includes a dozen new parts, including the game's biggest fuel tanks and a new robotic grappling device.

Kerbal Space Program lead developer Felipe Falanghe said: "Kerbal Space Program is about giving gamers the chance to dream big, even if they're not astrophysicists. This relationship with NASA, the very beacon of big dreams and imagination, is going to give players a real opportunity to learn about the universe we're living in.

"The Asteroid Redirect Mission is going to be one of the rewarding and challenging accomplishments in all of gaming. We can't wait to see our current and future players take on this mission and perhaps, teach NASA a few tricks along the way."

As for NASA, it hopes the collaboration will help drive interest in deep space exploration among future explorers.

"Having an element of the experience based in the reality of NASA's exploration initiatives empower players to manage their own space program while getting valuable insight into the reality of studying asteroids as a next step in getting to Mars," said NASA's Bob Jacobs.

More on the Asteroid Redirect Mission will be revealed at the SXSW Gaming event this weekend.

In January TeacherGaming, an organisation that brought a classroom friendly version of Minecraft to schools, partnering with Kerbal Space Program on an education-themed mod for the game entitled KerbalEdu that will make it more conducive to a classroom environment.

Dan Whitehead checked out Kerbal Space Program for an Early Access review published in January.

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