What a scientific utopia Kerbin once was! Seemingly the entire world came together in the spirit of exploration and discover, endeavouring to reach the skies, then out into space, and to the Mun and beyond, simply because they could. Eventually. With a little trial and error. A space-plane could smear across the runway or a rocket tumble from orbit and the Kerbals would still happily start building on another. Discovery was its own reward.
Now the grim spectre of capitalism rises over Kerbin, as Kerbal Space Program developers Squad are preparing to roll out key parts of its career mode, adding funds, contracts, and reputation. Come have a look at a video with the first few contracts, amounting to taking off without exploding.