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Chapter 1. You will Go to room Today

In this chapter, we’ll obtain things started by first getting you set up through your copy the Kerbal an are Program. As soon as that’s sorted out, we’ll jump right into the whole service of an are flight through designing, building, flying, and also landing her very an initial rocket. If you’re lucky, not every little thing will explode!

Getting Kerbal an are Program

If friend haven’t already purchased a copy the Kerbal an are Program, fear not—there are plenty of ways of getting it:

Regardless of just how you great to buy that (or the platform you will do it play it on), you will finish up through the same game, so walk ahead and also get yourself a copy. Fine wait right right here for you.


This publication focuses top top the PC, Mac, and also Linux versions of Kerbal room Program. The game is almost identical on the Xbox One and also PlayStation 4, though the keyboard and also mouse controls are adapted for the console controls.

Going to Space

Once you’ve got Kerbal space Program set up and collection up, that time to start exploring space.

In this chapter, we’ll begin a new game that Kerbal space Program, take it a tourism of the an are Center, and also launch something into the sky. It won’t be much, but it will be your something.

To start, we’ll take you top top a tour of the Kerbal an are Center and also talk about the assorted buildings and also facilities obtainable to you. We’ll climate go inside the vehicle Assembly Building, one of the most crucial locations in KSP, and also start constructing your first rocket. Finally, we’ll launch it, and you’ll find out the basics of flying rockets.

Getting Started

Let’s begin by beginning a new game that Kerbal room Program. Launch the game, and also you’ll be cure to a check out of the key menu, shown in Figure 1-1. Click start Game, climate click start New. You’ll be triggered to choose what form of video game you desire to play. There space three options:

Sandbox gamings allow complimentary play. There are no capital restrictions, and all components start unlocked.

In this chapter, fine be play in career mode. This mode offers a funny challenge, due to the fact that it provides you a number of constraints to press against.


You deserve to have multiple games of KSP energetic at the same time. If, if you’re analysis this book, you desire to attempt a complex mission yet don’t have the an innovation or accumulation to execute it, you can constantly start a Sandbox setting game.

That said, that really lucrative to do facility missions after slowly building up your Career mode game.

Figure 1-1. The main menu that Kerbal space Program

Start a brand-new Career mode video game in normal difficulty. You’ll be required to the Kerbal space Center.

Accepting a Mission

To acquire started, you should first accept a pair of contracts, i m sorry will get you a tiny money to usage on your first mission. Early contracts in the game are very simple, involving tasks favor “launch a vessel,” “gather some scientific data,” and “get right into orbit.” they’re perfect for getting started in the game.

Click top top the Mission manage building. The Mission Control structure is the little structure alongside the runway. You have the right to see a map the the facility in Figure 1-2. The mission controller, Gene Kerman, will sell you a choice of contracts that you have the right to accept. Till you update the Mission control building, you have the right to only accept 2 contracts at a time.

Figure 1-2. The space Center, v Mission Control, the start Pad, and also the car Assembly structure highlighted

Accept the “Gather clinical data indigenous Kerbin” and “Launch our an initial vessel!” contracts. You will do it be able to accomplish both of these at the exact same time, top top the very same flight.

When you accept a contract, you will do it be provided an quantity of money up front. You’ll be given more money as soon as you successfully finish the contract.


When you expropriate a contract, girlfriend must complete it prior to its due date. If friend don’t, you will do it be penalized and will lose money and reputation. Fortunately, the an initial contracts that you’ll accept have actually no deadline.

Once a contract is accepted, it moves from the available tab come the energetic tab. Click on the energetic tab to check out the perform of active contracts. You’ll check out the 2 contracts that you’ve accepted (see Figure 1-3).

Figure 1-3. The list of energetic contracts

Now the you’ve obtained your instructions, that time to build your first rocket.

Building the World’s most basic Rocket

To construct the rocket, you need to visit the auto Assembly Building. Leave Mission Control, and click top top the automobile Assembly Building.

When you construct a rocket, you pick parts indigenous the Parts menu at the lefthand side of the display screen (see Figure 1-4) and attach lock to other parts.

Figure 1-4. The parts menu

Rockets require at least three things in order come fly:

A command pod, which can be one of two people crewed or uncrewed:

In addition to this minimum requirements for getting a rocket turn off the start pad, it’s an excellent to lug along other to do while you’re in the air. In Kerbal an are Program, many of the rockets the you fly aren’t introduced purely because that their very own sake; typically they lug equipment to use in orbit, such together landers and also science experiments.

When you begin the game, one such experiment is available: the mystery Goo Containment Unit. This is a pod it is filled with…well, filled v something, and also your science team believes the they have the right to learn more about the universe by observing that in various situations.

There room many, plenty of other varieties of parts available for you to use in your spacecraft designs, yet these three are the most critical ones. The rocket we’ll build in this thing will have one of every of these:

The spacecraft will have two Mystery Goo Containment Units, i beg your pardon you’ll usage in flight.

Constructing the craft

To start constructing the rocket, take it a look in ~ the Parts menu (see Figure 1-5). You’ll check out a single component in the ford tab: the Mk1 Command Pod. Click the command pod. Due to the fact that it’s the first part, it will immediately show up in the ship’s design.


Left-click to choose a part; as soon as a component is selected, relocate the mouse to reposition it, and left-click again come reattach it. Right-click and drag the mouse to rotate the camera.

Scroll up and also down to move the camera up and down. If friend hold change and usage the role wheel, the camera will zoom in and out.

Figure 1-5. The pods tab of the parts menu

At the moment, over there is just one engine: the RT-5 “Flea” hard booster. Click the RT-5 engine and attach it come the bottom the the rocket.

We currently have everything we need to launch a rocket: a command pod, one engine, and fuel. However, yes sir a really important part that demands to be included to the rocket if we want our pilot to have the ability to safely walk far from the mission. We need a parachute.

Attach the Mk16 parachute to the peak of the command pod.

Finally, we’ll include the scientific research experiments. Click the mystery Goo Containment Unit, and also attach it come the next of the command pod (see Figure 1-6).

When you’re flying a rocket, distribution of load is important. If the rocket is lopsided, as it is best now, climate the rocket will tip over during flight. To correct this problem, you’ll require to include a second mystery Goo Containment Unit to balance it.

You can include a second one by choosing it indigenous the menu and adding it at the best position, however there’s a simpler way: rotate on the Symmetry mode.

Figure 1-6. The rocket, v a single pod attached to the side of the command pod

To enable symmetry, click the Symmetry setting button, displayed in Figure 1-7. As soon as you click on it, you’ll boost the variety of parts that you’re placing in ~ once.


Left-click the symmetry Mode button to boost the variety of parts. Right-click the button to decrease.

The the opposite Mode switch can be set to place two, three, four, six, or eight components at once.

Figure 1-7. The Symmetry setting button, shown at the left

Next, click the secret Goo Containment Unit. You’ll an alert that she now moving two parts at when (see Figure 1-8). Connect the two components to the command pod.

Figure 1-8. Put two mystery Goo Containment devices at once

Next we require to collection up the staging. In KSP, a stage is a group of parts; when you push the an are bar, the following stage is activated, and all of the components in the stage space activated along with it: engines are lit, separators detach, and parachutes deploy.

At the moment, both the engine and the parachute are in the same stage. This is no a good thing, because it way that when you push the an are bar come launch her rocket, her parachute will deploy in ~ the same time as your engine firing. This will certainly make it very challenging to fly.

To settle this, we’ll placed the parachute and also the engines in different stages. The engine will certainly activate first, and also the parachute will activate when it’s time come come back down.

Setting up the stages

The perform of stages deserve to be found in the bottom-right edge of the screen. Develop a brand-new stage by moving your computer mouse over the list of stages. A + button will appear; click it and also a new stage will certainly be added. Click and drag the Parachute right into this new stage. You can rearrange step by clicking and dragging the orange bars at the top of every stage. Stages at the bottom the the perform activate first. Rearrange the stages so the the stage with the engine fires first, followed by the parachute stage.

Finally, let’s offer your delivery a name. Click the craft’s name at the top of the screen and change its name to First Craft.

Click the Save switch at the height right, and also then click Launch. You will do it be required to the start pad.

Launching the World’s easiest Rocket

We’ll currently fly this rocket up as high as it have the right to go. It won’t have sufficient fuel to with orbit, yet you’ll absolutely complete your current contracts.

The game’s UI

You’ll spend most of your time in KSP looking in ~ a display screen much choose Figure 1-9.

Figure 1-9. The game’s interface

Let’s take a look in ~ its different components:

Notifications, resources, contracts, currency, KSPedia. The buttons in ~ the peak left of the screen permit you come see different kinds that information. If you mouse over the buttons, different readouts will certainly appear. If girlfriend click the buttons, this readouts will remain visible after you relocate the mouse away native the buttons.

Keybindings and also mouse controls

Before you begin your flight, it’s crucial to know just how to run the game’s controls. Things can happen an extremely quickly in KSP, for this reason it’s advantageous to understand what buttons come press.

Controlling her spacecraft

Z: rise your accelerator to maximum.

X: reduced your accelerator to zero.


W and S: pitch her craft up and down.

A and D: yaw left and right.

Q and E: role clockwise and anticlockwise.


Space: activate the next stage. If her spacecraft hasn’t however taken off, this will certainly activate the first stage.

System controls

F: temporarily permit SAS for as lengthy as the crucial is hosted down. If SAS is currently enabled, hold F come temporarily disable it.

Camera controls

M: toggle orbital map.

There are fairly a few keys in Kerbal space Program, however don’t worry—you won’t be supposed to memorize castle all, and also your very first flight will be very simple.

Slip the surly bonds of Kerbin

While you’re on the ground, we can complete one the the contracts the you accepted earlier by asking Jeb to take a crew report:

Right-click ~ above the Command Pod, and click Crew Report.

A window will show up showing the results. Click the eco-friendly Keep Experiment button.

Launch your rocket by pushing the an are bar.

Your rocket will certainly fling itself upward. You will do it burn fuel quickly, however that’s OK.

By launching your rocket, you instantly finish your first contract, which just requires girlfriend to gain something off the ground.

Wait till you operation out the fuel and also start falling ago down to the ground.

You need to reach an altitude of over 4,000 meters, which will certainly break lot of altitude records.

Your pilot will look either joyous or terrified.

Slowly to rise down, and also land in the water.

Enjoy the splash.

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You deserve to increase and also decrease the rate at which time advancements by pushing the . (full stop) and also , (comma) buttons.