Kerbal Space Program

An essential sandbox for anyone with an interest in space, rocketry, or explosions.

Key events

Making History is the first expansion for Kerbal Space Program on PC

Space sim Kerbal Space Program gets its first PC expansion on 13th March 2018.

Making History adds a mission builder and a history pack, the latter of which contains missions inspired by historical moments in space exploration. Perhaps it's not too late to include a mission where you ride Elon Musk's Tesla to Mars!

Digging deeper, the mission builder lets you create missions that include launches, landings, rescues, malfunctions, explosions, repairs and more. As you'd expect, you can share your creations with other players.

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Humans have gazed up at the sky and wondered about their place in the cosmos since the very beginning. Do the same in a game like, say, Breath of the Wild, and you're presented with vivid images of clouds, stars, the sun and the moon. It's an important part of this and many other games that helps to create an illusion of a continuous space that stretches beyond what we actually experience within the confines of the game. The sky implies that Hyrule, despite being a fantasy world, is a part of a cosmos very much like our own, and we accept this even though we cannot fly up and check.

Valve hired former Kerbal Space Program developers

UPDATE: Squad is not joining Valve, only some ex-KSP devs moved over.

UPDATE 23/05/2017 5.45pm: Kerbal Space Program's developer Squad has clarified that Valve only hired certain former members from the rocket simulator's development team, not the whole team.

On NASA, the video game developer

Get your ass to Mars.

From the austere Newtonian universe of Spacewar! to the lush galactic disc of Mass Effect, video games have been taking us beyond Earth's atmosphere for decades, but in the eyes of Dr Jeff Norris of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, few have done the spirit and practicalities of space travel justice. Speaking at this February's DICE summit in Las Vegas (video below), Norris threw down something of a gauntlet. "If you'd like games to be recognised as a great form of art, I'm afraid that some of you, not all of you, are going to need to step it up. You see, great art, doesn't just move us as individuals, it can move entire societies." For Norris, art has worth when it's bringing about "riot and revolution", when it furthers some broader cultural or political enterprise - an enterprise such as NASA itself, which has long relied upon dreamers of all kinds to relay its values and significance to the world at large.

The brilliant Kerbal Space Program console release date

The brilliant Kerbal Space Program console release date

UPDATE: Out on Xbox One this week but not PS4 in Europe.

UPDATE 4.30PM BST: Kerbal Space Program will not be released on PS4 in Europe this week - only in the US. That's what Nestor Gomez, producer, told me this afternoon.

"KSP will not be available this week in Europe," he said. "We still don't have a date we can confirm but we are doing everything in our hands to have it ready as soon as possible."

The good news, however, is that we have an Xbox One release date for both America and Europe and it's this Friday, 15th July.

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Kerbal Space Program to launch on Xbox One

Popular sandbox construction sim Kerbal Space Program will soon blast off on Xbox One.

But details of when and how much are still to be revealed.

Kerbal developer Squad announced the new console version via a brief teaser, below.

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Kerbal Space Program review

EssentialKerbal Space Program review

Between a rocket and a hard place.

Eventually, Kerbal Space Program becomes a game about triumph. Getting into space. Landing on the moon. Mastering physics to leave the ground behind and blasting into the history books on a rocket of your own creation. When it finally happens, it's one of the most satisfying moments in the history of gaming. What makes Kerbal a classic, though, is what happens before that point. As a great Kerbal once probably said, we do not choose to go to the Mun because it is easy, but because... well, why not? Look at it, hanging up there in the sky like a great big smug thing. Don't you just want to wipe the smile off its poxy moon face?

Achieving this, just one of many goals, is literally rocket science. Take a command module, slap on an engine, some fuel, perhaps a parachute if you're feeling generous, and if you're lucky, the whole thing won't explode on the launchpad or go spinning into an explosive death-dive. The cute characters and playful nature both take the edge off failure and make things more approachable than more serious attempts like Microsoft Space Simulator or the much older Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space. They're simply a soft felt glove over an iron core, though. Kerbal Space Program both understands, and more importantly, respects the challenge of getting into space, and the tremendous war on physics that it takes. The slightest weight imbalance, the tiniest piloting mistake and: boom. Weather reports everywhere reporting roasted Kerbal raining from the skies. Again.

It takes many, many such failures before you finally get to see the world dropping away to be replaced by infinite space, in a moment as satisfying as any achievement in gaming right now - and even then it comes with a reminder that you've no more mastered the stars than a kid with a dinghy can hope to conquer the sea. It's rare for a game to truly convey that sense of wonder or the promise of something new, but this one delivers - a feeling that only happens because it's made you work your bottom off for every last little scrap of your success.

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Kerbal Space Program is finally getting a v1.0 launch

Kerbal Space Program is finally getting a v1.0 launch

Here's a NASAcery date for your diary.

Sci-fi sandbox Kerbal Space Program has at last received a version 1.0 release date.

After years in playable alpha and beta, Kerbal will fully launch on 27th April.

If you're interested, you can probably save some money by picking it up before then - it's available for PC and Mac via Steam Early Access.

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Kerbal Space Program finally in beta

Kerbal Space Program finally in beta

"Hitting 1.0 is within sight."

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.

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Kerbal Space Program Early Access review

Kerbal Space Program is a physics game. That's a term that has been roundly abused and misrepresented, however. Does a mug on a desk fly off when you shoot it? Physics! Does your character fall down stairs like a ragdoll? Physics! Can you twang circular birds at pigs hiding in rickety wooden structures? Yay! Physics! As far as games are concerned, "physics" is now basically shorthand for "stuff that moves kind of realistically".

So let's start over. Kerbal Space Program is a physics game, in the textbook sense of the word. An actual literal textbook, full of real science. This is a game in which you'll need to understand not only an object's centre of gravity, but its centre of thrust. It's a game where you need to know what periapsis and apoapsis mean, and where you'll need to understand orbital eccentricity and inclination.

It's also a game about gormless, wide-eyed cartoon characters who want to be astronauts.

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Kerbal Space Program lands on various schools' curriculum

From the company that brought you MinecraftEdu.

Back in 2012 we wrote about TeacherGaming, an organisation that brought a classroom friendly version of Minecraft to schools. Now the company has expanded its repertoire by partnering with a second indie developer to use its game for educational purposes. That game: Kerbal Space Program, an aerospace engineering sim that serves as the natural evolution of the good old bottle rocket.

Kerbal Space Program launches Career Mode with its latest update

Kerbal Space Program launches Career Mode with its latest update

It's not rocket science. Oh wait! Nevermind. It is!

Slowly but surely aerospace engineering sim Kerbal Space Program has been gaining popularity over the last couple of years - despite it not actually being a finished product yet - and now its latest 0.22 update adds a Career Mode to the mix.

Previously players would muck about in the game's Sandbox Mode trying to build the best possible craft to launch their cute little "Kerbal" critters into space. Now the game has some semblance of structure as you're tasked with hiring your own astronauts, researching and developing ship parts, building vessels under a budget, and accepting contracts to bolster your agency's reputation.

Rather than giving players the keys to the castle, Career Mode has you earn new gear through Research and Development. By running science experiments players will be able to accumulate data on parts and unlock new parts. This should help ease new players into figuring out just what all the hundreds of ship parts do. Advanced players need not worry, as Sandbox Mode is still available as well.

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Kerbal Space Program dev pledges free expansions after fan outcry

Kerbal Space Program dev pledges free expansions after fan outcry

"A heartfelt apology to all those who felt wronged."

The developer of indie sandbox title Kerbal Space Program has told Eurogamer that current owners of the game will receive all future expansions for free.

The offer applies to all those who already own the game's alpha build, and anyone who buys a copy before the end of April.

The decision comes in the wake of an outcry by Kerbal Space Program fans, who launched themselves into a fury when developer Squad mentioned a paid-for post-release expansion.

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Kerbal Space Program dev explains update plans after fan fury at paid-for expansion

Kerbal Space Program dev explains update plans after fan fury at paid-for expansion

Apologises for suggesting features could be delayed for post-release content.

The indie developer of promising PC sandbox game Kerbal Space Program has backtracked on comments that suggested it would delay planned features of the title so they could become paid-for post-release content.

Kerbal Space Program is currently in alpha and already available to play and buy from creator Squad - the same method used in the early development of that other indie sandbox game Minecraft.

The developer's FAQ page states that "if you buy the game now you won't have to pay for further updates".

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