Campaign: Kerbol System Exploration

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Kerbollo 13 Campaigns Kerbals in Space


The new international Kerbal Space Program formed in the aftermath of the Kerbollo 13 rescue, set out to answer long-standing questions of the universe for the rest of all Kerbalkind, and exploration of the Kerbol system began in earnest. Probes were designed and launched to the inner planets, and plans made for a Grand Tour of the outer planets at some point thereafter.

Soon you'll be seeing Eve, Duna, and Moho up close, and through the lens of a spacecraft camera rather than than Kerbin-based telescopes. Afterwards, you will have the pleasure and angst of flying several probes on a Grand Tour of the outer planets.

Campaign Notes

This campaign, and most others after it, are meant to be played concurrently with other neighboring campaigns since long time frames are expected to complete these missions. You are welcome to use Kerbal Alarm Clock from this point forward to keep track of multiple mission timeframes lest you miss out on a launch window opportunity while working other missions. After you've designed and launched your first planetary probe for Eve into a parking orbit, and landed your first Minmus lander, feel free to continue with more Mun landings and/or the campaign Kerbals in Space while your probes wait for their launch windows.


  • Length: 3-10 hours
  • Difficulty: 6/10 (Advanced)
  • Skills needed:
  1. Advanced navigation via maneuver node (SOI intercepts with other SOIs)
  2. Expert orbiting (gravity assist)
  3. Intermediate understanding of interplanetary launch windows (phase angles)
  4. Advanced probe design
  • For version: Every version (tested on 0.20.2)

Some helpful links include Orbital Mechanics 101, knowledge of delta v values on the Cheat Sheet, and an understanding of phase angles from Olex's Interplanetary Transfer Calculator, and launch windows. Or you can just use Kerbal Alarm Clock.

Explorer 1: Pale Blue Dot

The first probe to ever leave Kerbin's SOI, was also the first probe to take a picture of the Kerbin-Mun-Minmus system. Later it would settle into its own orbit around the sun Kerbol, studying Kerbin's interaction with the Kerbolar Wind, and take the first pictures of Kerbol's corona.

  • If you have not already ejected a probe or ship out of Kerbin's SOI, then design and launch a probe to eject from Kerbin's SOI and settle into orbit around Kerbol. Else practice Kerbol orbital maneuvers with any remaining fuel you have.
  1. Probe must contain a probe core, solar panels, and an antenna.
  2. Probe must take a picture of Kerbin (take a screenshot)
  3. Challenge Goal: Take a picture of Kerbin with the Mun and Minmus also in the background (take a screenshot using chase view from the probe).
  4. Probe must leave Kerbin SOI and orbit Kerbol.
  5. Probe must decrease its orbit around Kerbol, and circularize.
  6. Probe must take a picture of Kerbol (take a screenshot).
(Note: Post screenshots on the [Mission Reports] forum if you wish.)

Kerminor 2

The first successful planetary encounter to ever leave Kerbin, Kerminor 2 would pass by Eve within 30,000 km before settling into a Kerbol orbit.

  • Design and launch a probe bound for Eve.
  1. Probe must have an OKTO core, two 1x6 solar panels, and an antenna.
  2. Probe must enter into orbit of Kerbin, waiting for its launch window to Eve.
  3. Probe must encounter Eve on a flyby within 30,000 km.
(Note: Phase angle for Eve is -54.13 degrees, and ejection angle from Kerbin is 154.8 degrees based on
(Note: Feel free to use Kerbal System Alarm Clock mod to set your launch windows)

Minmus Lander

  • Land a probe on Minmus.
  1. All lander probes must have a power source and at least one antenna going forward.
  2. Probe core must land on Minmus, losing no parts.
(Note: losing parts as part of the descent, as long such loss is planned prior to entering the body's SOI, is permissible)
(Note: After a succesfull Minmus landing, you may continue launching probes into parking orbits, and start the Kerbals in Space campaign)

Kerminor 10: First Planetary Slingshot

  • Build and launch a probe that will flyby both Eve and Moho.
  1. Probe must contain two extendable solar panels, a dish antenna, and a Communotron antenna.
  2. Probe must contain at least one scientific instrument.
  3. Probe must flyby Eve within 6000 km.
  4. Probe must flyby Moho within 500 km.
(Challenge: flyby Moho three times instead of once.)

Kenera 3: Eve Impactor

  • Build and launch a probe which will impact Eve.
  1. All probes from this point forward must contain at least one antenna and once science instrument.
  2. Probe command module must impact Eve.

Kenera 7: First Eve Lander

  • Design, build, and fly a probe lander to Eve.
  1. Probe core must land on Eve without losing any parts.
(Note: losing parts as part of the descent, as long such loss is planned prior to entering the body's SOI, is permissible)

Kerminor 9: First Planetary Orbiter (Duna)

  • Build and launch a probe orbiter over Duna.
  1. Probe must contain four extendable solar panels.
  2. Probe must contain a dish antenna.
  3. Probe must orbit at an altitude under 1,500 km.

Duna 3: First Duna Lander

  • Design, build, and fly a probe orbiter and a probe lander to Duna.
  1. Probe must consist of an orbiter and lander with the lander able to separate and land on its own.
  2. Probe orbiter must orbit Duna at an altitude under 1,500 km.
  3. Probe lander must land on Duna without losing any parts.(Note: losing parts as part of the descent, as long such loss is planned prior to entering the body's SOI, is permissible)

Grand Tour I - Explorer 2: Flybys of Dres, and Jool

Kerbal scientists have discovered a once-in-a-lifetime launch window whereby gravity assists can be used to fling a probe on a visit of multiple planets and bodies. Take advantage of the opportunity and plan your mission carefully. This Grand Tour would forever be remembered as KSP's unmanned program's finest moment.

  • Build and launch a probe with at least a dish antenna and a Communotron antenna.
  • Probe must contain all scientific instruments available.
  • Probe must flyby Dres.
  • Probe must flyby Jool
(Note: You may also choose to orbit, if you can.)
(Note: You are welcome to accomplish both Grand Tour missions using the same probe if you are able.)

Grand Tour II - Explorer 6: Grand Tour of Jool and Eeloo

The second successful mission of the Grand Tour project, Explorer 6 was launched shortly after Explorer 2.

  1. Probe must meet the same building requirements as Explorer 2.
  2. Probe must flyby Jool.
  3. Probe must flyby Eeloo.
  4. Probe must reach Kerbol escape velocity and leave Kerbol on a trajectory toward interstellar space.
(Note: You are welcome to accomplish both Grand Tour missions using the same probe if you are able.)

Final Word

Much data was gathered in these early planetary missions, one of which captured a particular photo of Kerbin, entitled "Pale Blue Dot" by Karl Kergan. This was taken from the first working probe to exit the Kerbol gravitational sphere of influence. This photo would have great historic significance. Future plans for space stations and greater international co-operation were being laid out between all involved nations as the Kerbal Space Program planned to put more Kerbals in Space.