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 299 (Retriever 2 Launches!)

Retriever 2 launches to a 400k orbit! It’s mission is to bring the asteroid Retriever 1 captured into an orbit close enough that an Aurora Crew Vehicle can intercept, and Kerbals can investigate it!

“We should really redesign that second stage! There’s way too much power there!”

After many attempted plots, an intercept with the asteroid is finally resolved!

Finally, Retriever 2 arrives at the Asteroid and docks!

It’s decided to let Retriever 1 go, so as not imbalance the asteroid for movement!

The asteroid mover pushes and pushes until it runs out of fuel! The asteroid’s orbit is still inclined, but not as severely! Another Retriever will be built, and hopefully finish the job!

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!