Kerbals are the native denizens of the planet Kerbin, and the game analog for humankind. Kerbals are bipedal and stand roughly 0.75 meters tall.
A kerbal in an EVA suit has a mass of 93.75 kilograms. This only counts toward the mass of a craft if the kerbal is seated in an EAS-1 External Command Seat and is not in a command pod or PPD-10 Hitchhiker Storage Container.
Kerbals have a massive head with respect to their bodies as it appears that half of the body's volume is accounted for the head.
Although Kerbals appear mostly hairless, they have notable hair growth occurring chiefly on the top of the head. Their skin hues appear to range from light green to pale green. As far as can be seen via artwork and ingame modeling, Kerbals appear to have two, large teeth that span the length of their gums. One on the mandible, and one on the skull.
They are capable of spending years in space without showing any signs of muscle atrophy or other ill effects and can survive for years with minimal or no food and oxygen supply. There are various theories why this is possible:
- One theory is that they are able to enter a state of hibernation to endure long space travels. This is unlikely, as they appear always awake when controlling the craft (although they still might hibernate whenever their ship isn't active).
- Another theory is that their green skin may contain chlorophyll allowing them to photosynthesize their own food, though kerbals can also survive without light seemingly indefinitely.
- They may also not need oxygen to breathe, as they have no nose and can survive with their mouth closed.
- Some sources have proposed that a Kerbals sustenance might mainly consist of Mountain Dew and Sandwiches.
- One theory proposes that Kerbals do eat, but that life support simply has not been implemented into the game.
- Another theory simply states that worrying about life support might simply not be considered fun.
Anecdotal evidence in the descriptions of the Rockomax HubMax Multi-Point Connector and the RoveMax Model 3 suggest that Kerbals are prone to dying from shock when exposed to unexpected technological innovations. For some reason this doesn't seem to apply to innovative rocket concepts. These usually kill them in other ways.
Judging by their names, everybody, at least the ones approved to go into space, seem to be male. C7, a developer, has said that “there were no plans to add female Kerbals”. He also said that they don't have any specific sex in his mind. Maxmaps, PR Manager has repetedly said on squadcast that female Kerbals, however, were in the plan.
Kerbal corneas protrude from the eyeball significantly, as do their eyes from the skull. In addition, they also possess no eyelids, making their eyes a vulnerable spot for injuries. Kerbals appear to lack any irises, meaning that their eyes are very sensitive to bright lights. This may support the theory that Kerbals live underground. On the other hand, in the crew report for flying over Kerbin's grasslands, the Kerbal will say that he can see his house, possibly indicating the presence of buildings that have simply not been rendered.
Kerbals have an awkward, sprawling walk due to their wide pelvis and short legs, indicating that their species may not have evolved to walk originally, and that it is something they learned recently. A Kerbal's walking speed on Kerbin is about 0.87 m/s, it's running speed is about 2.35 m/s.
Kerbals only speak in some recent trailers but not in-game. In trailers they speak reverse Spanish or (hsinapS). However, they do emit sounds like "aha" in-game, during the tutorials. They seem to write in modern English, and in many fan-made videos they speak high-pitched English. Kerbal larynxes must have an interesting structure, as they are able to pronounce letters/syllables that humans either cannot or would have great difficulty pronouncing. In addition, their language is full of sudden sharp sounds, unmelodic syllables, and impressively difficult pronunciations, owing to its nature of being a reversed human language. This is especially pronounced when reversed English or Spanish is used.
All Kerbals have a random generated first name and Kerman as the surname, although this might only apply to kerbonauts as only their names are known. The first name is either a combination of phonetic syllables or chosen from a list of pre set names.
Material culture and technology
Limited observation makes this difficult to determine. The technology and architecture appears to share many similarities with the modernized nations of Earth during the 1970-2000's, however no city landscapes currently exist (0.23).
One theory on the scarcity of buildings on Kerbin could be that Kerbal civilisation may live underground or underwater due to some unknown factor. Of course, this may be because KSP is a game that does not neccisarrily mandate cities, and they are planned.
Due to the humorous descriptions of parts in-game, it can be assumed Kerbals are, to some extent, less intelligent and more foolish than Human Beings. Kerbals usually find planets by accident, often involving what was thought by its discoverer to be a piece of dust or a smudge on the lens. It appears that their culture revolves singly around the process of designing, building, launching, and riding rockets and planes, as every structure on Kerbin (excluding a certain Easter Egg) is devoted to either aviation or spaceflight.
The most prominent properties are their stupidity and courage, as those are the only properties, except the name, visible in the Astronaut Complex. Some Kerbals such as Jebediah Kerman have the BadS flag set, which is an additional variable that controls their personality.
Kerbals seem to be in infinite supply, perhaps everyone wants to be a kerbonaut, the Kerbal Space Command has a great recruiting program or the planet Kerbin itself spews out the little green men.
Some theories state that Kerbals, if their anatomy and biology resembles plants, can be cloned. This idea could be supported by the fact that all Kerbals have the same surname, and that all of them look alike but have different personalities via artificial memories, meaning that all of them are clones of one original Kerbal with “Kerman” as the surname. This could possibly be Jebediah Kerman, since the "Selection Process" labeled him as #0001. Also, it could be supported more by the fact that at least some Kerbals, Jebediah, Bill and Bob, can respawn or un-die.
- Kerbonaut, the only Kerbals named and playable
- Jebediah Kerman, kerbonaut, badass and manufacturer
- Bill Kerman, kerbonaut
- Bob Kerman, kerbonaut
- Wernher von Kerman, famous rocket scientist
- Gene Kerman, flight instructor
- Dinklestein Kerman, manufacturer
- Answer by C7 in Kerbal Polar Expedition - Day 5 - Part 1 (Charity Water Campaign) by HOCgaming at 1:14:13