I’ve been interested in all things aerospace for many years now and I have been working in the aviation industry since early 2008. Growing up I was a big fan of watching the Space Shuttle and other rocket launches and recoveries on NASA TV, which due to some of the launch/landing times and the fact that I live in Australia meant quite a few late nights/early mornings. It was well worth it though.
Recently I stumbled upon an incredibly addictive space travel simulation game known as Kerbal Space Program. It is currently in the alpha stages of development with new features being added rapidly. There is already a large modding community and a free demo version available for anyone who wants to try it out. The game is also available on Steam. As of the current version (0.19.1, released 18 March 2013) only sandbox mode is featured but a campaign mode is one of the planned features. Basically you’ve got free rein to build whatever you can imagine and launch it to explore the complex Kerbol Solar System. The physics of space, and of the complex gravitational manoeuvres required to launch something into orbit and send it out into the system are simulated and represented, yet there is no need to be an astrophysicist to play the game at its fullest. The game provides some short cuts and assistants to allow someone with no grasp of astrophysics and rocketry procedures to quickly jump into the game, build a few rockets, attach some probes, and begin exploring the Kerbal universe.
I’ve decided to share my attempts (even the failed ones), and tips I’ve picked up along the way on my journey through the Kerbol System.