How to Build a Basic Satellite

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Building a Basic Satellite

Do you want to launch your first permanent, sustainable satellite? Are you bored and want to litter space with a billion small objects? Do you just want to practice deploying payloads into orbit? Then this tutorial is for you!


  • Length: 5–15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy (Requires basic knowledge of orbital mechanics)
  • For version: Every version


Step 1 - Build your satellite

  1. First, you'll need to actually make your satellite. Take the most advanced probe you have- a Probodobodyne HECS should do. Check to see if it has a reaction wheel- you'll need one if you want to move it. If it doesn't have one, add one.
  2. Next, add some batteries- it doesn't matter which type, as long as it fits- and a few solar panels. Without power, you won't be able to control your satellite. If you want to be fancy, add a thermal control system and/or some scientific equipment. To finish, add an antenna- a Communotron 16 or two should do. The farther away from Kerbin you are, the stronger antenna you need.
  3. Next, put a decoupler or separator below that, and a fairing below that- make sure to have it cover the whole satellite! Build a rocket that can get your brand-new satellite into orbit. Attach it below the decoupler.

Step 2 - Launch your satellite into orbit

Launch your satellite in the traditional way- straight up, then a gravity turn past 10,000-20,000 meters. Once you pass 70,000 meters, deploy the fairing and extend the antennae. You should know how to get into an orbit by now. Circularize at or above 75,000 meters.

Step 3 - Finishing

Decouple the satellite from the final stage. Extend all your antennae/solar panels/thermal control systems and admire your glorious creation!

Finishing word

Congratulations! You've built a small satellite. You can launch more, or save time and credits by doing something worthwhile.