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Description

Kerbal Space Program is a space simulation game. It is however, not based on our solar system. In Kerbal Space Program you are tasked with building a space worthy craft, and well… sending it to space. As of now, there are no campaigns and the game is completely sandbox. The physics engine makes this game a lot of fun in my opinion. The different planets, and their moons, have different atmospheres, gravity, and surfaces making each one a different challenge to get to, and if you choose, land on. There are also parts available for building rovers to explore the martian terrains. Kerbal Space Program supports mods, so there is always something to do. If rocket science isn't your thing, there are even parts to build space planes, although I seem to be quite terrible at it.

Structures

Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB)

This is where rockets are built. You are given a wide array of parts to use, jet engines, solid rocket boosters, liquid fuel engines, different sizes of fuel tanks, rover parts, decouplers for the various stages of your rocket, and many more. The building of rockets is modular, meaning that they are built in different stages. You begin with a command pod, this can be either manned or unmanned. If manned, this is where your Kerbonauts will be housed during the duration of the flight. The next part should probably be a parachute if you plan on returning your crew safely back to the surface of Kerbin. You would then want to add various stages of rocket engines to provide enough thrust to execute your mission plan, too much fuel though, can leave you encumbered and you may have trouble escaping the atmosphere. Not enough fuel may leave you, or more like your crew, whizzing off into space with no means to get back. You can add stabilization fins to assist in keeping the rocket straight while in the atmosphere. Things like lights and batteries and ladders and solar panels can also be added. If your mission was to land on a certain planet, then you would want to have landing gear attached to the landing pod. Parts can be placed with or without two-, three-, four-, six- and eight fold radial symmetry. There is much more that I am sure I missed, as it has been a while since I have played.

Launch Pad

This is where your rocket creations are launched from, it has sloped edges so you can drive off of it with a rover and explore the Kerbin landscape. There used to be a launch tower, but that was recently removed because ships kept bumping it and exploding on lift off. If you choose, you can EVA (Extra Vehicular Activity) your crew and explore on foot.

Space Plane Hangar

Here is where you construct your space planes. Although you are offered the same parts to work with here, the construction is flipped on its side to allow easier construction of planes. When a vehicle is launched from this building, it will be brought out to the runway instead of the launch pad. It would be kind of hard to have a plane take off from a vertical launch pad. As opposed to the Vehicle Assembly Building, the Space Plane Hangar only offers bilateral symmetry attachment methods, versus the four, six, or eight of the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Runway

This is where the vehicles built in the Space Plane Hangar are launched from. I am unsure of the length of the runway, but it is quite long. Additionally there is a primitive dirt runway on the island off of the coast that the space center sits on. You must travel there, as vehicles can not be launched from there.

Tracking Station

The tracking station is a large round building with a large parabolic antenna rotating on top of it. The purpose of it is to observe, resume, or cancel any flights that are currently happening. This does not include flights that have crashed, or splashed down.

Planets

Kerbol

Kerbol is the Sun of the Kerbol system, it is the star at the center of the solar system. It is orbited by five planets: Moho, Eve, Kerbin, Duna and Jool, as well as two other dwarf planets Eeloo and Dres. Kerbol is 113 times less massive and its radius is 3 times smaller than our own Sun. Orbiting just above the surface gives an orbital period of 409.214 minutes at a speed of 66.945 km/s. Kerbol has an equatorial radius of 261,600,000 M, and a surface area of 8.5997404×10^17 meters squared. It has a surface gravity of 17.1 m/s2 and its escape velocity is 94672.01 m/s.

Moho

Moho is the innermost orbiting planet of star Kerbol. It could be compared to a Mercury equivalent. It has no atmosphere and no natural orbiting satellites. Its orbit around Kerbol is slightly eccentric and inclined, these factors make it a challenge to reach. Moho has a surface that ranges from highlands to Maria, it is heavily cratered. It has two very deep wells at the north and south poles, the depth of which has yet to be determined but is known to be deeper than 5 km. Moho has an equatorial radius of 250,000 m and a surface area of 7.8539816×10^11 meters squared. It has a surface gravity of 3.92 m/s2 and its escape velocity is 1400.71 m/s.

Eve

Eve is the second planet out from Kerbol and is also the second largest planet orbiting it. It has one small moon called Gilly, which is a captured asteroid. Eve is the closest planet to Kerbin, the home planet of the Kerbals. It is similar in size to Kerbin, and has a large gravity well. It has a thick atmosphere which makes landing on the surface easy through aerobraking, but making it very hard to lift off from, since most fuel will be wasted overcoming atmospheric friction. Eve has several oceans and large flat continents. Its tallest point is 6450 meters above sea level. It has an equatorial radius of 700,000 m, and a surface area of 6.1575216×10^12 meters squared. Its surface gravity is 16.7 m/s2 and had an escape velocity of 4831.96 m/s.

Kerbin

Kerbin is the home of the Kerbals, as well as the location of the Space Center, and is the main focus of Kerbal Space Program. Kerbin is considered the Earth equivalent for the game. It has two moons, Mun and Minmus. It is the third planet from Kerbol and the third largest planet. The distribution of water and land is roughly equal, with polar icecaps and scattered deserts. The atmosphere of Kerbin contains oxygen, making the use of naturally aspirated engines possible. The atmosphere is thick enough to allow the use of aerobraking and parachutes. Kerbin has an equatorial radius of 600,000 m with a surface area of 4.5238934×10^12 square meters. It has a surface gravity of 9.81 m/s2 and has an escape velocity of 3,431.03 m/s.

   


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