Kerbal Space Program first expansion blasts off in March

Space catastrophe simulator Kerbal Space Program will launch its first expansion on March 13th, the developers announced today. ‘Making History’ is a clever little name combining the expansion’s two big features: a Mission Builder to make your own missions; and a load of spaceship pieces and missions inspired by real-world historical space exploration. I can’t imagine what those might be, given that Kerbal’s sandbox already leads to replicating most of the human history of space travel and the little it doesn’t mostly involves dead animals, but sometimes it is nice to have someone lay out a goal for you. As promised, the expansion will be given free to players who bought Kerbal early enough.

The Mission Builder will let players create missions with a range of objectives and events, which the devs say include “launches, landings, rescues, malfunctions, explosions, repairs, and much more”. Or, you know, you’ll be able to download missions other players have made for you – and compare your spaceskills through scores.

Making History will cost £10/€13/$15 when it arrives on March 13th. I’d half-thought this came out a while back, seeing as it was announced in March 2017, but nope. As promised back in the day, this–and any other future expansions–will be given free to people who bought Kerbal before April 2013.

Kerbal’s update 1.4 is coming too. Its changes will include spaceship parts like a new engine and new decouplers, bug fixes, and new localisations to German, Italian, French, and Brazilian Portugeuse.

Kerbal Space Program is owned by Take-Two these days and published by the megacorp’s ‘indie label’ Private Division, because the future is weird. But it is still made by creators Squad.


  1. LennyLeonardo says:

    New red Tesla/space mannequin components?

    • Darloth says:

      Expect a lime green Kesla mod within… hmm… a week? I’m unsure, but they’re usually pretty quick.

    • automatic says:

      It seems almost like the article was asking for this answer.
      That wasn’t history. That was murican way of life when you have too much cash. All technological achievements that made it possible are thanks to people who work on SpaceX that are really devoted to engineering and yet the news makes it look like Elon Musk himself built all the rockets. That event was Trump level ridiculous.

      • Dewal says:

        Musk is a guy that build a successful company and is now leading projects that he fund himself.

        So sure, he didn’t build anything nor invented any new technology… but he’s still the reason why the team was put together, had a project and the means to attain it.

        And it’s far from unseen to only celebrate the leader of the effort that lead to an achievement. You could easily get lost if you want to start to thank everyone, you’ll have to go down to the people that feed the guy that helped the other guy doing this particular task without which the project couldn’t have worked.

        • automatic says:

          Check how NASA celebrated their achievements. And are you sure Elon Musk was the leader? How can you tell he was the chief of any project and not simply contracted the chiefs? Or contracted someone who contracted the chiefs. As far as I can tell, the only thing he has for sure is a lot of money. He is a neoliberalism star of the corporate world. The reason why other people involved in the project aren’t as cheered as he is, is because in this system they are all expendable. A lot of them probably foreigners, a lot probably working third party without even knowing what the final product is.

          • Premium User Badge

            ooshp says:


            get back to 4chan

          • Zenicetus says:

            Maybe you missed the part where the Tesla car that was launched has a plaque engraved with 6,000 SpaceX employee names.

            Whatever the pros and cons of working for SpaceX are, that’s a pretty good employee perk; having your name memorialized in a heliocentric orbit out past Mars for a billion years or so.

          • rochrist says:

            They sure looked ‘cheered’ watching that launch yesterday.


          • automatic says:

            Whats the name of the NASA director that landed the first man to the moon? What? He didn’t do it by himself? He’s not even commonly known because he wasn’t even that much important in the big picture?


      • Scraphound says:

        What good are engineers without vision?

        Leave engineers to themselves and they’d crank out nothing but obtuse and overly complex junk with little appeal beyond their own circle.

        Elon Musk put the team together and made it happen. Without him there would be no Falcon Heavy launch. But virtually any one of those engineers could have been replaced.

        If you have the time and the dedication you can learn to be a good engineer. All the time and dedication in the world can’t make you a visionary. There’s no four year degree program producing Elon Musks.

        • automatic says:

          The world is full of creative people, a lot of them engineers. The difference between them and Ellon Musk is he has more money than he can spend by himself.

          • rochrist says:

            How do you suppose he got all that money genius?

          • automatic says:

            Like most billionaries in the world do. By inheriting the initial chunk of it. The rest comes naturally as in the capitalism world whoever has more money makes more money. It’s like gravity.


        • MajorLag says:

          > What good are engineers without vision?

          Lots of people have vision, what Musk brought to the table was funding.

          And while I loathe celebrity worship, it is notable that Musk genuinely seems more interested in accomplishment than making a quick buck, which is a rare quality in the modern capitalist.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        It was a phenomenonal achievement that wouldn’t have been possible without the money and vision of an absolute mental case gazillionaire. Howard Hughes would be proud.

        • automatic says:

          You’re talking about a sports car piloted by a dummy astronaut floating in space.

          • Scraphound says:

            Yes. An absolutely monumental achievement. Musk cofounded Paypal. He went on to create a successful electric car company in an age when major automanufactuerers like Chevy can’t find a market for their own electric vehicles. So after that seemingly impossible accomplishment he started SpaceX and has now delivered a heavy payload into orbit. And even more massive and inspiring achievement.

            For every creative engineer there are hundreds if not thousands of nose to the grindstone workers who are great and being told what to do and how to do it. There’s no shame in being an engineer, but it’s something almost anyone can do if they apply themselves.

            You don’t create three highly successful and world changing businesses solely by applying yourself.

            Bravo to the men and women who made Musk’s vision a reality. I don’t mean to disparage them at all. But without Musk they’d be designing bridges and HVAC systems, not launching a Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity into orbit.

          • Seafoam says:

            Were taking about replacing a cargo of concrete with something fun and interesting.

            If these rockets are more powerful than ever and cost less, then by god they deserve the right to strap a sports car on it an blare Bowie on the radio!

          • automatic says:

            @Seafoam I understand the big payload achievment, what I don’t agree with is using a shameless self marketing useless asset as it, instead of something scientifically relevant. Although Scraphound and a lot of people think Ellon Musk is RL Tony Stark he is not. Those achievements come at a cost of the work of thousands of people, even more if you take into account the work involved in harvesting primary goods, like fuel. Not even creative work must be credited to himself alone. If this is ever a historical feat it’s an embarassing one to humanity, not one to be proud of.

          • Excors says:

            It’s hard to find a scientifically relevant payload that is also unimportant enough and cheap enough that nobody minds the ~50% chance of failure on an untested new rocket design; and is available on the unpredictable schedule of the test launch; and is happy with the weird orbit that is chosen to best test the rocket itself; and is large enough that it can’t just piggyback on a regular launch of a cheaper rocket; etc.

            That’s why rocket tests typically launch a mass of concrete or steel or water or whatever. The car is no more useless and is more fun. The value of the launch is in the data it provides about the rocket, which will inform future launches with important payloads.

          • automatic says:

            @Excors I’m not a scientist myself and I can cite at least a handful applications for a risky random orbit launch. The thing is SpaceX do not care for science, they care for market and profits. That’s why a stupid thing like a sports car floating in space is more relavant than of any research. Those exist by the thousands spread around the world. A single open application announcement would solve that problem in an instant.

      • modzero says:

        Actually, even management is mostly Shotwell, not Musk. Anything Musk tries to do like Tesla or Solar City or Hyperloop (now a Bezos project) is a failure.

        • RabbitIslandHermit says:

          My favorite Musk visionary vision is roads – except, get this – they’re underground and they lead from his house to LAX.

      • gabrielonuris says:

        We’re living on an age when still there are people believing the world is flat; I don’t even try to justify anymore why this Musk person is the most overrated human being from the history of the known universe.

        As a friend of mine once said: this generation deserves a guy like Elon Musk.

        • Kolbex says:

          As this very thread shows, there is no shortage of people lining up to lick his balls.

        • ludde says:

          So you dislike flat-earthers, yet use their existence as a measurement for Elon Musk being overrated. I don’t get it. If anything, those flat-earthers would agree with you.

          • automatic says:

            There’s this world where on every opinion you must choose siding either flat-earthers or Ellon Musk. It’s a sad world.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Oh dear. Sorry, everyone.

      • rodan32 says:

        Not your fault =). The internet is just a little trolly today, I guess. All I can say is congrats to SpaceX, and congrats to KSP for a new milestone. I have 2000 hours in the game, which is far and away the most enjoyment I’ve gotten for whatever pittance I spent on the license.

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    phuzz says:

    A mission designer is a great idea for KSP. They’ve already got a committed mod community, this should make it easier for those of us with no coding skills to join in, and Squad get more content made for them.

  3. Jonnyuk77 says:

    Before April 2013…..?????

    Quick Steam search about… where is it…. oh here it is.

    ARSE! Bought it September 2013. One thing that’s all, just one thing to bloody once fall my way.

    • morse says:

      June ’13 here… :( Oh well

      • LewdPenguin says:

        Quick search reveals:Feb ’13, WOOO YEAH!
        Probably just as well, even though it sounds like it might be moving the game a bit more towards the slightly more structured experience I hoped for alongside the pure sandbox flying-thing simulator aspect of it, I’ve already burnt out on it too many times to have been likely to spend more on expansions.

      • satsui says:

        How the hell are you guys figuring this out?

        • Mezelf says:

          click your name in the top right corner in Steam -> Account Details -> View purchase history (-> Scroll to bottom and hit LOAD MORE TRANSACTIONS) -> CTRL+F kerbal

    • Mezelf says:

      “27 Apr, 2013 — Kerbal Space Program – Early Adopters”

      This article confused the fuck out of me until I actually checked the source and read the article myself.

      “we are including Expansions in what you can expect to get for free if you have already bought the game. Also, for those considering purchasing the game, we will maintain this promise for all purchases made until the end of this month (April, 2013).”

      So maybe you should correct your article and clarify that the free expansion applies to whoever bought it before May 2013, seeing as the entire month of April is included in the promise.

    • MajorLag says:

      I don’t think it was on Steam when I first bought it, so I’m probably good.

      …yep, 2012-12-21 according to the Kerbal store. I paid $17.25. Though I doubt I’ll play the expansions since I’ve pretty much had my fill of the game.

  4. DoomBroom says:

    Falcon Heavy – KERBAL STYLE!
    link to

    That launch yesterday btw was amazing and inspiring!

  5. Axolotl says:

    I’ve played that game since early access. I’m so happy it’s become a success. It tickled my brain and sucked away my time more than most games I have.

  6. Slazia says:

    Purchased it April 12th 2013 :(

    • RudeGuyGames says:

      The Early Adopters program was active until the end of April, not before April. Wording is important.

      I.e., you are still eligible for free expansion packs.

  7. Zhiroc says:

    I might be in the minority, but I was so looking forward to the original game, and bought it eventually on Steam. But I quickly became disenchanted with it. I guess I was looking for a campaign game more like that of an old board game called “Liftoff” IIRC, which I think got turned into a PC game called (also IIRC) Buzz Aldrin’s Race to Space.

    The point was that you needed to build up your technology to successfully go to the moon and back. And you did this through test flights and research. But KSP seemed to not be quite so structured, and I ended up being disappointed. I’m not so much just into building something for the joy of building it.

    I remember that one of the first “missions” was to try to get a booster or something flying in a specific range of velocity at a certain range of altitudes. Doing so was absolutely not what one could do with the simplest of rockets, which is what you would be doing for a “first flight”.

    • Excors says:

      I think the mission system evolved quite a lot during development. When I last played it, there were some hand-crafted introductory missions, mixed in with a load of randomly-generated missions (“fly part X at altitude Y / speed Z” etc) that were often stupid and rarely worth doing. Maybe they’ve improved it since then.

      It seemed like the best form of progression was the science points. Build a tiny rocket with a bunch of science components and collect research in the lower atmosphere; unlock components in the tech tree to let you build a slightly bigger rocket to collect research in the upper atmosphere; repeat until orbital; repeat until you can send a tiny science probe to orbit the Mun, then a manned lander on the Mun, then a manned lander on Duna, then visit all the moons of Jool, and so on. The tech tree unlocks gradually enough to guide you through all those incremental steps and stop you being stupidly ambitious at the start, while the copious science points on remoter planets encourage you to stretch a little further with each new rocket.

      I usually struggle badly with motivation in pure sandbox games, and I felt like the science mode provided just enough structure for me.