NASA Designs a Kerbal Space Program Mission

NASA Designs a Kerbal Space Program Mission

Kerbal Space Program nasa

Think you're the master of Kerbal Space Program? NASA has a real-world problem for you to try your hand at.

Anyone who's played Kerbal Space Program can vouch for the difficulty of safely reaching the moon, but don't expect NASA to be impressed - they did that decades ago. So what do the actual aerospace engineers consider a challenge? Asteroids, apparently - and they're opening that challenge to the Kerbal Space Program audience. NASA hopes to put human astronauts on an asteroid by 2025, but the space agency is wondering if gamers can do it first.

Squad, the team behind Kerbal Space Program, has partnered with NASA to develop a pseudo-educational mission pack for the game, inspired by real goals from NASA. And as you might expect, given the source, it's gonna be a tough one. Players will have to design a spacecraft to reach an asteroid, fall into a steady flight path alongside it, then steer the asteroid into a safe orbit around the Kerbal home world (without causing a world-ending collision) before finally landing Kerbals on the planet's new satellite. Easy enough, right?

It's good to see NASA and Squad collaborating - in fact, it's almost surprising that it took this long. Both teams have experience using games to help educate us common folk on the physics behind space travel, after all. NASA recently held a game jam to encourage development of fun, accurate space games, and Squad released an affordable version of Kerbal Space Program specifically for use in schools. Who knows; with the gap between science and gaming growing thinner, games like this very well could be raising the next generation of NASA scientists.

Source: Polygon

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This will be beaten within a week. Gamers are insane and when you give them a challenge in a video game that's supposed to be hard, you will immediately find seven youtube videos on how to do it in the first twenty minutes of the game.

Gamification is pretty damn awesome.

DrunkenElfMage:
This will be beaten within a week. Gamers are insane and when you give them a challenge in a video game that's supposed to be hard, you will immediately find seven youtube videos on how to do it in the first twenty minutes of the game.

Gamification is pretty damn awesome.

Foldit immediately came to mind when I read your comment. Three weeks, not one, but three weeks to uncover something that scientists weren't able to figure out for decades is still quite something.

Wait wait wait wait wait, I think we're missing the most important aspect here.

That being the fact that NASA's next plan... Involves throwing an asteroid at our own planet just to be able to say we stood on it.

Have I mentioned that I love our species? Because I fucking love our species.

The Kerbal thing is cool too. It'll be beaten within a day though. I look forward to Scott Manley landing on it using nothing but a catapult pulley system and a series of rotating tubes.

Sir Thomas Sean Connery:

The Kerbal thing is cool too. It'll be beaten within a day though. I look forward to Scott Manley landing on it using nothing but a catapult pulley system and a series of rotating tubes.

100% this, he'll make it look like a fucking cakewalk, that or he'll say

"didn't I do that last week?"

Sir Thomas Sean Connery:
That being the fact that NASA's next plan... Involves throwing an asteroid at our own planet just to be able to say we stood on it.

Have I mentioned that I love our species? Because I fucking love our species.

You will until China tries the same thing with less-successful results, knowing them.

And just you wait until we have a moon base. The kinds of science experiments that will happen because we wouldn't have to worry about catastrophic environmental damage...

DrunkenElfMage:
This will be beaten within a week. Gamers are insane and when you give them a challenge in a video game that's supposed to be hard, you will immediately find seven youtube videos on how to do it in the first twenty minutes of the game.

Gamification is pretty damn awesome.

Scott Manley will have it done and a video about it within 24 hours (He's kind of the Chuck Norris of the KSP community. Check out his vids at http://www.youtube.com/user/szyzyg/videos )

Well you have to remember that the educational version is going to have a different physics setup in place to make it more accurate to real life. That could throw a bit of a monkey wrench into things.

But yeah, I expect it to be handled fairly quickly as well.

If i'm reading this right, and I believe I am, you guys are missing the point. The POINT is that asteroids will be added to the game, AND I'LL BE ABLE TO DOCK ROCKETS TO THEM AND DRIVE AN ASTEROID TO KERBIN, ATTACH CHAIRS TO IT, AND JEB CAN RIDE IT INTO THE KSC

I love Kerbal Space Program, and fully enjoy any challenges given out. I look forward to seeing what they do.

I'd be lying if I said when I saw the title I didnt immediately think 'Does the new mission pack close down the space program and end the game after you land on the moon?'

>.>
<.<

This does sound pretty cool though.

Will be allowed to use the nuclear rockets on the mission or are those still banned by international treaties?

Captcha: piggyback

Hmmmm... Interesting idea, Captcha. Write up a proposal and submit it for review by the end of the week.

image
Also as posted above Scott Manley will probably do it first, i will probably do it by the good old trial and errorwith rough estimations, i wouldnt be surprised if i fail a forty times before succeeding, but hey! ITS A VIDEOGAME, so i can destroy Kerbin all the times i want :)

Greatest advertisement ever. Now to wait for the steam spring sale.

In a word Fuck Yes!

To all the people saying "oh, this will be done within a week!" Yes, it will. KSP isn't that hard. Besides, someone will just use Mechjeb (3rd party autopilot mod) and cheat their way to the finish line like a pro within the first few hours.

The challenge will be in how people do it. Doing it with the smallest number of parts, for example. Or at lowest cost. Or without using NERVA engines. Or just building something fucking awesome and interesting.

The best thing about KSP is that it's a community driven game. Right now, noone "official" is setting these challenges and people are still taking them on. Half the fun is seeing all the cool and crazy stuff people build and how they go about doing things, it's more than just a race to say "FIRST!"

Yes I'm sure Scott Manley will do it after many attempts and much editing.

But I watch a few KSP streamers on Twitch who'll probably do it live, which is much more impressive :)

 

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