Community & Culture KSP rocket-ready launch pad

Published on May 10th, 2013 | by Michael Ricciardi

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Build Your Own Space Program! New Video Game for Space Enthusiasts [VIDEO]

KSP rocket-ready launch pad

The launchpad with a rocket ready to launch (image credit: KSP wiki / XZise)

Note to My Readers: I rarely promote a new consumer product in my blog posts, but as I am a space enthusiast (and this comes to me from a colleague who is deeply involved in the Citizen Space / Space Arts movements), this new game is just too cool and fun-sounding to let pass…and I’m not even a ‘gamer’! (plus, early versions of the game are free to download and play!).

How often do we non-rocket scientists (I hesitate to use the term ‘space junkies’) get to develop our own space program with missions and goals of our own choosing? Well, never, actually. But now you can — at least, in virtual space.

I have previously reported here on new 3D printing tech being used to build a ‘moon base’, but this game, though virtual, is a lot more expansive. And who knows? Perhaps some innovative solution (to a space travel challenge) or exploratory mission (to boldly go…) — or several — may emerge from all this space play…pretend missions that might have direct bearing or impact on life here on Earth…So then:

Your mission: build a space-worthy craft capable of flying a human crew into space and returning them to Earth…without killing them in the process…

Ladies and Gentlemen…I give you: Kerbal Space Program

What is ‘Kerbal Space Program’?

(The following information comes directly from the forwarded email; note: the game is still in development {‘open sandbox’}, but is ready for initial “flight testing”)

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.
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!

Game Features:

  • The Vehicle Assembly Building and the Space Plane Hangar allows players to build spacecraft out of any imaginable combination of parts.
  • Fully-fledged, Physics-based Flight Simulation ensures everything will fly (and crash) as it should.
  • Take your Kerbal crew out of the ship and do Extra Vehicular Activities
  • Fly out to Moons and other Planets
  • Procedural Terrain delivers detailed terrain at a vast scale. The Kerbal Planet is 600km in radius!
  • Mod-enabled, allows players to create new content and modify the game.
  • Ship systems. Keep an eye out for engine temperatures and fuel levels, and try not to explode.
  • Build ships with multiple stages, and jettison parts away as they burn out.
  • Full control over the staging sequence allows for complex ships and advanced functionality.

Planned Features:

  • Take on Missions to attract interest in your Space Program. Or use the Mission Planner to create your own missions.
  • Manage your Space Program. Hire astronauts, train them, research and improve parts.
  • Build Space Stations, and surface bases on other worlds.
  • And a whole lot more!

Check out this promo video for KSP! (more important info below):

A Few Notes from the KSP development team:

KSP is still under development, so many things are not yet as they should be.
We are working hard to be constantly improving the game, however, and it will be regularly updated with bug fixes and new content, so make sure to check back for new versions.
We are also always listening to feedback from the players, and we welcome ideas and suggestions.
Currently the game is being built as an “open sandbox”. There are no objectives yet. You’re free to build anything you can think of, and fly it wherever you want, even into orbit.
The first versions are free to download and play, and will remain so forever.
During development, the game is available for purchase at a discounted price, which we will gradually increase up to its final retail price as the game nears completion. So by ordering early, you get the game for a lot less, and you’ll get all future updates for free.
Visit the KSP website and start building your space program! (https://kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php)
Note: You can find KSP 0.19.1 on http://www.kerbalspaceprogram.com or http://store.steampowered.com

 

 




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About the Author

Michael Ricciardi is a well-published writer of science/nature/technology articles as well as essays, poetry and short fiction. Michael has interviewed dozen of scientists from many scientific fields, including Brain Greene, Paul Steinhardt, Arthur Shapiro, and Nobel Laureate Ilya Progogine (deceased). Michael was trained as a naturalist and taught ecology and natural science on Cape Cod, Mass. from 1986-1991. His first arts grant was for production of the environmental (video) documentary 'The Jones River - A Natural History', 1987-88 (Kingston, Mass.). Michael is an award winning, internationally screened video artist. Two of his more recent short videos; 'A Time of Water Bountiful' and 'My Name is HAM' (an "imagined memoir" about the first chimp in space), and several other short videos, can be viewed on his website (http://www.chaosmosis.net). He is also the author of the (Kindle) ebook: Artful Survival ~ Creative Options for Chaotic Times



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