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Kerbal Space Program General

Last posted Oct 28, 2012 at 03:52AM EDT. Added Sep 04, 2012 at 03:33AM EDT
41 posts from 12 users

Kerbal Space Program is a multi-genre game where the players create their own space program.
In KSP, you must build a space-worthy craft, capable of flying its crew out into space, without killing them (optional). At your disposal is a collection of parts, which must be assembled to create a functional ship. Each part has its own function and will affect the way a ship flies (or doesn’t). So strap yourself in, and get ready to try some Rocket Science! (Taken from



So, do any of you play KSP?

Last edited Sep 04, 2012 at 03:34AM EDT

I don’t have it right now, but I’m definitely considering getting it. I just found this video, and it’s really making me want KSP (and a lot of KSP mods, as well!):

Last edited Sep 04, 2012 at 04:01AM EDT

Trollkeeper wrote:

I heard of this only a few days ago, and it sounds cool. I’m looking into getting it, but I’m not sure about it.

Try out the free demo to see if it is something you would like.
link here

I just spent seven hours playing the demo. This game is too addictive, and for the first time ever, that is actually going to be the reason that I do not buy it. Not yet anyway. And my lack of money would get in the way even if I did want to get it now. Anyway, the highest I could get my craft was one million meters. Not even close to the moon! I will have to build it bigger next time.

If I have one complaint though, I would say it is the automatic staging system. Any time I add a new component to the craft the game reorganized my entire staging tree. It is really annoying when I launch the ship and only three out of twelve thrusters go off, and then I have to spend ten minutes pinpointing which thruster should go where in the stages.

Last edited Sep 05, 2012 at 01:52AM EDT

My first Mun landing. About twelve hours of construction and testing went into this.

Athen XII on the launch pad. There are a total of 22 rockets in the Athen series. The later models were all failed attempts at developing a craft capable of landing on Mun and returning to Kerbin.

Following takeoff and the shedding of solid fuel thrusters.

Finally, liquid thrusters are ejected.

Arrival at Mun. Approximate total of 2 tanks of fuel left.

Reverse thrusting to slow down as we approach the surface.

The rest of the craft was completely destroyed in the landing process.


I have crashed into Mun five times while trying to land. This was my first glorious success. Our next mission is to create a ship capable of returning home, but I do not think it is feasible in the demo version. I will probably have to gather up enough cash to buy the full version before any of my Kerbals return home.

@ Count Lionel

It is COMPLETELY possible to land on the Mun with the demo version. Here’s what you do:

Attach 3 radial decouplers at the bottom of your lander, then attach the larger winglets into the ends of the decouplers. Then, put a strut from the winglet to the top of your craft. It will function as landing gear. As long as you touch down real slow, you’ll be fine.

That is almost exactly what I have been trying to do. I did not connect the winglets to the command module, which is probably where I went wrong. With my designs the ship was either too frail, and broke into pieces in the upper atmosphere, or it was too bulky and tumbled after liftoff.

I will keep trying though.

Well I got into space this time with a 6-liquid rocket first stage. was able to somewhat aim at the moon, but I was just trying to get into space so I overshot it, mostly due to my one tank of fuel on stage 2. Now I’m hooked.

Sorry for double post.

I have begun to work on the Hypnos series of rockets. The most recently tested version is Hypnos II:

Pic 1: Hypnos II after construction. 6 large solid boosters (Up from H1’s 3) for the first stage, 3 LV-T30 rockets with four FL-T400 fuel tanks in the second stage, an LV-T909 liquid rocket with 4 fuel tanks (this was designed to be the rocket to get to Mun, but it’s being changed to an LV-T45 for Hypnos III) for the third stage, and an LV-T45 with one tank for the eventual task of taking of from Mun, along with SAS and RCS systems, in stage 4.

Pic 2: Hypnos II on the launch pad.

Pic 3: Hypnos II in the third stage. In this iteration, it’s missing just enough thrust to reach escape velocity. It was slowly slowing at this point.

Pic 4: 120,000 feet up. I abandoned the goal of orbit/Mun landing and jettisoned the fourth stage.

Pic 5: A soft landing on Kerbal is confirmed by the capsule, Morpheus I.

Pic 6: Jebediah Kerman in front of Morpheus I.

Currently, I’m working on Hypnos III. Modifications include:

  • Struts attached to the liquid tanks (somehow this went unnoticed during the testing of Hypnos I, the additional tanks added in 2 helped me noticed the instability).
  • Removed some fins I don’t think are doing much.
  • An additional set of RCS boosters.

I’m hoping the reduced drag from the fins will help escape gravity. I want to hit orbit on my next flight, if I’m lucky.

Last edited Sep 07, 2012 at 10:08PM EDT

Athen XII E-2 on the launch pad:

Thus far I have tested 34 different models, and only those of the XII series ever leave the atmosphere without collapsing, exploding, or tumbling. At the moment the only thing I have left to work on is increasing efficiency. I decided to ditch solid fuel thrusters, and not only did I manage to break the atmosphere without them, but I also got to Mun with most of my liquid thrusters intact, with fuel remaining. I might never use solid thrusters again!


Wait… something is wrong here…


To add insult to injury, I actually had three full fuel tanks left. Plenty enough to make it home. I am going to hook up fifty cables to that engine so that it never comes detached again.

It’s official: the Hypnos series can achieve orbit.

The problem is, I use pretty much all my fuel to get into orbit; I’m on my “lander/return vehicle” stage by the time I get there. Next step: trying to reach a higher initial thrust, so I need less fuel for escape velocity and orbit establishment. Then beginning test fights towards moon orbit.

No pics this time, sorry. I forgot to take screenshots.

@Lionel: Is that the lowest you can get those fins? that might be part of the problem; I think it’s landing directly on the engine.

Last edited Sep 08, 2012 at 03:15AM EDT

Have you considered utilizing liquid fuel drop tanks? Organize your stages so that you can drop your fuel the moment it is expended. You will shed weight much faster than when you use “tower” designs, in which you stack fuel tanks on top of the engine. Removing weight as quickly as possible is the key to reaching escape velocity with a sizable ship intact.

In order to get the landing fins any lower I would need to make the rocket taller, and the Athen XII presently seems to be at a “magic height.” If I add even a meter more to it the rocket tumbles a few minutes after takeoff, flipping around in the upper atmosphere. So yeah, that is as low as they get. Technically the engine should not hit the ground, unless I am on a very rough surface, or the fins bend as I land. I have attached a load of cables to the fins and the engine to prevent the latter of the two from ever happening again.

Sorry for the double post, but I finally succeeded in my mission:

We did it. We are on the moon. The ship slid for quite a bit after landing; and on a rough slope, mind you. But it remained intact, probably because of all the extra cables I attached to the fins and engine.

But now for the tricky part:

Having escaped Mun’s gravity, we begin our return voyage. I still had three tanks of fuel left when the craft left Mun. I almost overshot Kerbin, hurtling out into space in a totally wrong direction, and the fact that the camera refused to let me move where I wanted it complicated things further. I had to guess and check by thrusting in almost random directions, but I got through it and aligned the craft correctly.

Now safely in orbit, I utilize the last bits of the drop tank fuel to put my craft in a position to collide with the surface.

One last look at Mun:

I still have an entire fuel tank left when I detached the empty drop tanks. I use this trying to move so that I land at the launch pad, but the planet’s rotation thwarts my efforts. Drop tanks are released, followed by final separation and a safe landing in the ocean.

Total mission time of 2 days, 9 hours, and 52 minutes.

Last edited Sep 08, 2012 at 03:56PM EDT

So the alt text on xkcd is about KSP today. I found it amusing.

Also, I’m improving my skills at orbiting. I got a nice round polar orbit at 200 km last night. I’m on the sixth iteration of the Hypnos line at this point. The main changes for Hypnos 6 are moving the boosters to the bottom of the craft, instead of the sides. They were swinging everywhere on V and messing with my thrust efficiency, probably. I’m gonna go onto Hypnos VII tonight, which will add extra liquid rockets to the 2nd stage’s first round of tanks (which were just tanks for four rockets), and just use them as a second escape stage after my solids.

I bought the full game. Definitely a wise purchase, but I am eagerly waiting for new content to be released. At the moment, the only significant differences between the demo and the full version are jet planes, a second moon, a few extra parts, and persistent space debris. The latter two are not significantly important being that the extra parts are basically just larger versions of parts we already had, and the space debris makes almost no effect on gameplay being that rendezvous with junk or prior missions is next to impossible.

In the meantime I have landed on Minmus, which is quite rugged and difficult to manage. The terrain is almost entirely constructed out of cliffs and steep slopes. My present project is to build a ship capable of recovering kerbonauts from other locations that have crashed or run out of fuel. I am thinking of using landing gear as a sort of docking clamp to grab onto a stranded kerbal, since they can not hold onto ladders while you are accelerating.

but don’t get your hopes up if you want to play it soon. The website is experiencing very heavy traffic and is basically unusable. Try in the next few days.

I am totally getting that docking mod that was released recently. I’ll use it to do an orbital rendezvous type planetary landing. I’ll detach from the mothership, send a lander down, then fly back up and dock with the mothership, then fly back home.

@sting_auer: Better yet, use it to construct a massive interplanetary ship in orbit. Because honestly, can you really expect to build a ship awesome enough to travel to Duna and back and still have it lightweight enough to get off the ground? Of course not.

>Orbiting/landing on planets and moons
>Not orbiting the Sun billions of meters away for all eternity
>Not using only solid fuel

This is my Blazing Saddle IV, the most successful in a series of solid fuel only rockets made entirely for going fast and far with no particular aim other than insane orbits. It has one kerbal inside, and it will never ever land.

Last edited Sep 21, 2012 at 10:33PM EDT

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