Indie space agency sim Kerbal Space Program is finally in beta.

The latest update, Beta Than Ever, launched today on the KSP Store, Steam and other digital platforms. It's free for existing players.

The update marks the game's first beta release and, according to its developers, is the first major step towards a fully launched game.

"It means we're in the home stretch," lead developer Felipe Falanghe said. "We're not done with the game by any means, but it's matured to a point where we can safely say that hitting 1.0 is within sight."

Players now start the game with a basic space center and can update it using the new upgradeable facilities feature. The Kerbals themselves have new specialised skills, including advanced piloting, science gathering and spacecraft repairs, that you can improve by taking them on missions.

Developer Squad has snagged official use of the European Space Agency's logo and imagery for the game, so you can create authentic-looking ESA missions in the game, too.

There's more on the update on the Kerbal Space Program blog, and in the video, below.

Back in January Dan Whitehead explored KSP for an Early Access review.

"It is, already, the sort of game you could play for 100 hours without exhausting its potential and yet, even when you're pootling around with doomed-to-fail contraptions, taking the most basic introductory steps, it's never less than charming, engrossing and entertaining," he wrote.

"That you can go from such humble beginnings to explore an entire realistically crafted solar system is nothing short of remarkable. Strap yourself in. It's going to be a long and wonderful ride."

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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