Year 18, Day 392 (Retriever 3 Asteroid Redirect Mission Launches!)

Retriever 3 blasts off from Cape Kerman, on top of a Jool Rocket!

Once in orbit, the newly re-designed second stage maneuvers to rendezvous with the asteroid IIF-441, which previous Retriever Missions have worked to bring closer and closer!

The “Rhino” Second Stage orbital/Rendezvous engine fires!

Until it finally connects with the asteroid!

Retriever 2 and the orbital stage are ejected… but the connection is tenuous at best! The asteroid keeps ‘wobbling’ around!

I think we’re gonna need a new design for ‘Retriever!'”


Year 18, Day 222 (Asteroid IIF-441 Enters Kerbin’s SOI – Retriever 1 Maneuvers to Intercept!)

Asteroid IIF-441, a class C Asteroid, enters Kerbin’s gravitational sphere of influence… and Retriever 1 burns to match planes!

Then, Retriever expands its orbit past that of the asteroid’s!

Then, with the Asteroid nearing it’s closest point with Kerbin, Retriever 1 burns it’s engine to intercept!

The maneuvers all require extreme precision! Once Retriever is close enough though, it’s fairly similar to docking with a ship in orbit!

Remarkably, Retriever 1 moves in closer to the Asteroid, having matched course!

Using RCS thrusters only, Retriever 1 moves in closer and closer…

…until it docks with the Asteroid!

“… it worked! It worked!”
-Orlas, onboard Kerbin Spaceport

Next, Retriever 1 uses what is left of it’s fuel to capture the asteroid into a circular orbit of Kerbin!

There isn’t enough fuel for a perfect orbit, but a highly elliptical orbit IS achieved, and the asteroid orbits Kerbin! Plans are immediately drawn to launch Retriever 2, to bring the Asteroid in to a closer location… and allow Kerbals to explore it!