Kerbal Space Program
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|Kerbal Space Program|
Official logo of the game
|Release date(s)||June 24, 2011 (alpha)
May 22, 2013 (0.20)
|Genre(s)||Space flight simulator game
Kerbal Space Program (commonly abbreviated KSP) is a sandbox-style space flight simulator game, currently in development for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The first public alpha version was released on June 24, 2011 and updates have been continually released since. Players assume command of the space agency of the planet Kerbin and are responsible for tasks including mission planning, rocket design, and space navigation and piloting. Though there are no formal objectives, the implied goal is for players to successfully let Kerbal astronauts explore the solar system. Kerbal Space Program supports game mods and has an active modding community. It can be purchased through Steam and the official Kerbal Space Program website.
|This section requires expansion. (April 2013)|
To achieve space travel, the player must design spaceships out of available parts. These include different types of fuel tanks, capsules, boosters and rockets, scientific equipment, and electrical parts. So far, only sandbox mode is available and thus it is left to the player to decide what to do. Common milestones for a player are a Mün landing, building a space station, and landing on Duna. Other popular objectives include exploring various places of the solar system such as Kerbin's two moons, Mün and Minmus, or other planets like Jool or Duna. Apart from exploration, other objectives consist of building space stations, achieving engineering feats, or building bases on other planets.
Solar System 
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Prior to Version 0.17 of Kerbal Space Program, only four celestial objects existed. Since then, 12 other objects, 6 planets and 7 moons, were introduced. The star in the middle of the solar system is known as the Sun, though the Kerbal Space Program community has named it "Kerbol". Moho is the Mercury-analogue in KSP, being the closest planet to Kerbol. Moho has an eccentric and inclined orbit, a crater-marked surface, and no moons. The second planet in the solar system, the Venus-analogue of the game, is the vivid-purple planet Eve. Eve has a thick atmosphere, high gravity, and one small moon named Gilly. The third planet, and Earth-analogue, in the solar system is Kerbin, the main focus of KSP and the home of the Kerbals. Kerbin has two moons, the Mun and Minmus, which are often the first goals for long-distance space missions. The fourth planet in the solar system is Duna, the Mars-like planet in KSP. This planet has a tidally-locked satellite named Ike, and has large ice-caps at the poles. Dres is the Ceres-like dwarf planet in KSP, orbiting Kerbol in an eccentric and inclined path. The fifth planet out from Kerbol is the green Gas Giant of Jool. Jool has 5 moons: Laythe, Vall, Tylo, Bop, and Pol. The last planet in the Kerbol system is Eeloo, a Pluto-like planet.
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The game is currently in development and is considered by the developers to be only a small approximation of the final product, with new features being added regularly. No dates or requirements for a transition into beta or a final release have been announced. Kerbal Space Program is written in the programming language C#.
The first version that was released to the public was 0.7.3 on June 24, 2011. Version 0.14.1 introduced an API for plugins, simplifying modification. Versions 0.13.3 (March 3, 2012) and 0.18.3 (February 12, 2013) were released as demos; they are available at no cost but have limited content and can not receive updates. The latest version of the game, 0.20, was released on May 22, 2013.
Planned features 
According to the game's website, several features are planned for future releases:
- Space program economic management
- Weather systems
- Research and development
- Recruitment and training of astronauts
- Solar flares/radiation and other dangers
- Mining Parts
The game supports extensive end-user modification, allowing craft parts to easily be built and implemented by players. As a result, a significant modding community exists, with hundreds of modifications having been released. These modifications to the game add to functionality, such as allowing craft such as land vehicles or airplanes to be created more easily than with the unmodified game.
The plugin API allows mod-makers to create parts that load additional code at runtime; this code extends the base game, allowing for new functionality or for more powerful control of the existing features (e.g. autopilot modules, or telemetry).
The game was well-received[by whom?] initially, as were its successive feature releases. This is mainly due to the success of YouTube videos featuring the game and continued support from popular Youtube video makers.
The game has seen early success having over 74,000 members registered on the forums with over 5,000 active users. In the hours after its Steam release on March 20, 2013, it reached the top 5 of best sold games.
The game has received an overall positive critical reception. IGN included the game in the article "Five Ridiculous Upcoming Games", where upcoming games for the PC without major publisher backing were discussed. Other publications have also been positive about the game, with PCGamer saying "Kerbal Space Program has a long way to go before it’s the galaxy exploring management game it wants to be, but it’s already amazing." and Unbored saying "I loved every minute of it" 
Positive reception has been, however, tempered with acknowledgment[by whom?] that the game is only in early development and therefore not complete.
See also 
- List of space flight simulator games
- Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space
- Microsoft Space Simulator
- Orbiter (simulator)
- Space Shuttle Mission 2007
- "Version History". KSP Wiki. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
- "About". Kerbal Space Program. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
- "VersionHistory". Kerbal Space Program. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
- "Planned features - Kerbal Space Program Wiki". Kerbalspaceprogram.com. March 6, 2012. Retrieved June 17, 2012.
- "Kerbal Space Program Mods". Retrieved September 24, 2012.
- "IGN:Five Ridiculous Upcoming Games". Retrieved November 12, 2012.
- "PCGamer:Now Playing: Reaching for the stars in Kerbal Space Program". Retrieved November 12, 2012.
- "Unbored:Kerbal Space Program review". Retrieved November 12, 2012.