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.
Update 0.24, 'First Contract,' will make career mode an actual business. Funds are required to buy parts and build spacecraft, which are earned from contract missions. Completing contracts also gets you reputation, opening up better-paying missions, though screwing up with lose you rep. When the patch arrives soon, career mode will demand actual budgeting, and trying to recover and salvage old parts. What a grim reality.
It's not that serious, though. The first few missions are from the Kerbin World-Firsts Record-Keeping Society, a daft lot who seem to be throwing money at the space program because they like keeping records of world-firsts but have no idea what'll happen next. Have a look: