Yes, soon you'll be able to do in Kerbal Space Program what NASA wants to do in real life. Of course, in this case, it won't take decades of careful research. And it will probably involve a lot more explosions.
KSP developer Squad and NASA are collaborating on a mission-slash-content pack called Asteroid Redirect Mission, named after NASA's own real-world mission. On one hand, it will feature a new scenario, which was first hinted at by the developers back in January -- you build a spaceship, get it into space, and wrangle yourself an asteroid to study. There are three stages to the mission:
- Identify: Detect, target, distinguish and select the asteroids that you want to move
- Redirect: Build a rocket ship and set course to intercept the moving asteroid, then position your ship to redirect the asteroid's trajectory
- Research: Send your Kerbals on EVA (extravehicular activity) around the asteroids to conduct experiments on the object and gather valuable scientific data as it (and you) hurtle through deep space
Of course, you need special tools to accomplish this, and they will be included with the free DLC pack. One of the "almost a dozen" new parts is the robotic grappling device, which Squad is considering one of the game's "most versatile" parts. There will also be a new, larger fuel tank to make sure you can actually catch the asteroid you're chasing (or, alternatively, end up stranded in deep space). These will also be usable in the game's sandbox mode.
Asteroid Redirect Mission will arrive sometimes after the game's upcoming 0.24 update.
KSP To Add NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission To Game [Official Tumblr]