Kerbal Space Program

Event Description: KSP is a game where the players create and manage their own space program. Build spacecraft, fly them, and try to help the Kerbals fulfill their ultimate mission of conquering space. In this project, student teams of civilian contractors will engage in a government-sponsored space exploration competition using KSP.


  1. Every active space organization must create and maintain appropriate documentation of their activities in the "Projects and Labs" thread of the APlusPhysics Community. Each post must include an up-to-date accounting of the organization's net worth.
  2. Safety of all Kerbals must remain the highest priority. Fines will be imposed for any activities placing Kerbals in unnecessary danger. Any injuries / fatalities will result in significant penalties. All Kerbals must be returned to Kerbin safely for any milestone to be achieved.
  3. All milestones and accomplishments must be documented as described below. Completion time of a milestone will be determined by the forum thread post date only when all requirements of the milestone and the documentation are complete. Only one prize may be accomplished per mission. If more than one milestone is achieved during a mission, the milestone with the highest reward value will be awarded.
  4. As always, good design, planning, and documentation are keys to success.

Scoring: Teams will be provided an initial amount of funding which can be spent as the team sees fit. The first team to successfully meet and document a milestone will receive 100% prize money. The second team to meet and document that same milestone will receive 50% of the prize award. All subsequent teams meeting that milestone will receive 25% of the prize award.

Logistics: Copies of the Kerbal Space Program software have been installed on classroom computers. Students are free to use these computers during class time, during free periods (when not in use by other classes), and before and after school as coincides with the space program director's (instructor's) available time.

Reporting: Prior to any launch activity, it is the responsibility of each team to have written and filed a pre-launch design release on the forum. Any launches conducted without a documented and filed pre-launch design release are not eligible for award compensation. Post-launch reports are required for every mission. Images are highly encouraged within each report. The F1 key is used to obtain a screenshot on the Windows platform. Screenshots are available in the C:\Program Files\KSP_win\Screenshots folder on standard Windows systems. For other configurations, please see the KSP FAQ for screenshot locations.


Awards / Milestones

Kerbal EVA

Kerbin Milestones (with associated awards)

  • Launch to 10 km - $10,000
  • Manned launch to 10 km - $20,000
  • Manned launch to 50 km - $30,000
  • Achieving stable orbit - $40,000
  • Achieving stable manned orbit - $50,000
  • First Kerbal EVA - $60,000

Satellite / Space Station Milestones

  • First working satellite placed in stable orbit - $80,000
  • First working satellite placed in geosynchronous orbit - $100,000
  • First manned space station in orbit - $130,000
  • Kerbal EVA
  • First non-Kerbin manned satellite (not space junk) - $180,000
  • First successful docking with a space station - $500,000
  • First fully-fueled orbital refueling station around Kerbin - $500,000
  • First manned satellite in stable orbit around a planet other than Kerbin - $1,000,000
  • First fully-fueled orbital refueling station around a planet other than Kerbin - $2,500,000

Exploration Milestones

  • Landing on Mun (+ safe return) - $250,000
  • Landing on Minmus (+ safe return) - $300,000
  • Working Mun Rover functioning on Mun - $500,000
  • Orbiting Eve + safe return - $500,000
  • Landing on Eve (+ safe return) - $5,400,000
  • Orbiting Moho (+ safe return) - $600,000
  • Landing on Moho (+ safe return) - $5,000,000
  • Orbiting Dres (+ safe return) - $700,000
  • Landing on Dres (+ safe return) - $2,000,000
  • Orbiting Jool (+ safe return) - $750,000
  • Landing on one of Jool's moons (+ safe return) - $2,000,000 per moon
  • Orbiting Eeloo (+ safe return) - $800,000
  • Landing on Eeloo (+ safe return) - $2,500,000
  • Orbiting Duna (+ safe return) - $850,000
  • Landing on Duna (+ safe return) - $2,500,000

Research Milestones

  • Detailed forum thread on orbital nodes - $20,000
  • Detailed forum thread on Delta-V - $20,000
  • Detailed forum thread on Hohmann Transfer Orbits - $20,000
  • Detailed forum thread explaining the use of the Kerbal Nomogram - $20,000

Easter Eggs

  • Taking a picture of the Neil Armstrong Memorial (Apollo 11 landing site) - $100,000
  • Picture of UFO on northern ice cap of Kerbin - $100,000
  • Picture of Kerbal in spacesuit beside Mun Arch - $225,000
  • Picture of the crashed flying saucer on the Mun - $250,000
  • Picture of the floating monolith on Minmus - $300,000



Each launch activity will require two separate forum posts. You are welcome to cut and paste the following text directly into your forum posts for ease of editing

Pre-Launch Design Release

Kerbal EVA

Team Name: List your team name here.

Available Funds: How much kerbency does your team currently have available?

Vehicle Name: What you named your vehicle.

Vehicle Parts List and Cost: list all rocket parts and their costs, as well as a total. It would also be a good idea to take a screenshot of your rocket and include it here.

Design Goals: What is your vehicle designed to do, and what strategies did you employ to tailor the vehicle to the task at hand?

Launch Goal: What are you hoping to learn / demonstrate on this flight? Do you expect to achieve a milestone as part of this launch? If so, which ones? If not, how does this launch put you closer to achieving a milestone?

Pilot Plan: What will the pilot be doing during the different stages of the launch? Are there different activities / maneuvers to be completed at different altitudes or stages?

Illustrations: Any other photographs or illustrations to help communicate your plan.


Launch Report and Debrief

Kerbal EVA

Launch Time: List the "real-world" time of your launch.

Team Members Present: Who was present from your team to witness / participate in the launch?

Play-by-Play: While the launch is occurring, at least one team members should be acting as a reporter, taking notes, and telling an engaging narrative about the launch. This is the bulk of the Launch Report

Photographs: Each launch should be accompanied by a minimum of two photographs from the mission. Screenshots may be made by pressing the F1 key at any time during the mission. If an award is achieved, make sure you take a screenshot as proof of the accomplishment.

Time-of-Flight: List the total time of the mission (game time, not real world).

Summary: In one paragraph, sum up your mission. What goals were achieved, what challenges were met and which were not, etc. Highlight any award milestones or safety concerns that will need to be addressed to move forward.

Opportunities / Learnings: What "big picture" items did the team learn from this launch?

Strategies / Project Timeline: How does this effect your team's strategy and timeline moving forward? Are you ready to tackle the next milestone? Do you need to go back to the drawing board and start over? Do you have some more research to do before you begin the next phase of the activity?

Milestone Awards Presented: List any milestones specifically achieved and the associated monetary award presented.

Available Funds: List your available funds following completion of the mission. Any fines, penalties, or award adjustments will be indicated by a reply to this post and must be taken into account at the start of your next pre-launch design release.


Tutorials / Helpful Links