KSP - Building a space station

This video is just saw awesome. I wish (really, really, really wish) I had the time to get involved in KSP…because this looks so cool…


Oh that’s awesome! It’s a shame that my space designs haven’t evolved past the Tim Allen “More Power” stage. Needs more rockets! One day though.

This video sets up some pretty high expectations – making a working craft that looks like NASA’s Space Shuttle is remarkably difficult, especially with stock parts – but getting stuff into orbit that you link together into a working “station” is not all that unreachable.

You need to be able to:

  • Lift something into circular orbit that can detach from the ascent stage (separator or decoupler)
  • Deorbit the non-payload part
  • Rendezvous and dock with another craft

Get those three* skills down and you can build some pretty amazing structures, even with just the stock parts. Like ALL Kerbal adventures, there will be iterative craft designs as you figure out the importance of docking ports, lights, solar panels, RCS thruster placement, boost motors, and just making the thing look cool. But isn’t that the fun part?

Personally, I haven’t ever built up a space station. I have put giant fuel tankers (fuel, ox, mono) up in a 250 km orbit so I can top off a vehicle headed on an interplanetary mission, and gain back some of the mass ratio I lost after ascent. I also have assembled large multi-segment vehicles in orbit, which requires all the above skills.

\*One could argue the deorbiting practice isn't *strictly* necessary to build a space station, but space debris builds up so fast in KSP. Collisions are really unlikely, but it's still just such a mess to deal with that I go through a lot of trouble to ensure all my unused stages end up smashing into one celestial body or another. I guess you *could* just delete "debris" via the Tracking Station like a heathen, but who could force themselves to live in a world where that kind of behavior is allowed to occur? ;)
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I like your passions but my kerbal creation end up just being a massive collection of engines reaching about 3000 meters before imploding.

or the always fun tumble-spin due to the mass imbalance. What a time to be alive!

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