Kerbal Space Center

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Revision as of 22:42, 12 January 2015 by NWM (talk | contribs) (final polishing)
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Kerbal Space Center
Kerbal Space Center
Location TinyKerbin.png Kerbin
0° 6′ 9″ S
74° 34′ 31″ W
Altitude ~68.41 m
Since version 0.7.3
The Kerbal Space Center illuminated at night

The Kerbal Space Center (abbr. KSC), located on Kerbin, is the only current location that missions can be launched from. Featuring a number of buildings and structures on an approximately 25 km² large plateau, it acts as a central hub granting access to all parts of the game. All buildings, except for the runway, are placed on hexagonal sections (mostly regular, except the one for the tracking station which is a truncated triangle).

Since 0.25, depending on the Game Difficulty settings, the buildings of KSC are destructible, taking damage from impacts.

Since 0.90, there are multiple levels to each building in the Career mode, with the starting buildings having significant restrictions compared to previously. Upgrading these facilities is likely to take the dominant portion of spending in the early game.

Always functional structures

Vehicle Assembly Building

The Vehicle Assembly Building (or VAB for short) is a large construction facility at KSC, where rockets and other vertically launched spacecraft can be designed. Craft designed in the VAB can only be launched from the Launch Pad, though it is possible to import vessels between the VAB and SPH.

Level Cost Supported part count Action groups available
1 Start 30 None
2 210 000 255 Basic[qualify]
3 1 300 000 Unlimited Custom

Launch pad

Craft designed in the VAB will be launched from the launch pad. This launch platform allows only vertical launches or starts of rovers, as it is elevated and planes don't have enough space to climb.

Level Cost Max vessel height (m) Max vessel width (m) Max vessel mass (t)
1 Start 20.0 21.2 18
2 52 000 36.0 39.6 140
3 322 000 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

Space Plane Hangar

The Space Plane Hangar (or SPH for short) is a facility similar to the VAB that allows construction of aircraft and spacecraft in a horizontal environment which can then be launched from a conventional runway.

Level Cost Supported part count Action groups available
1 Start 30 None
2 202 000 255 Basic[qualify]
3 1 258 000 Unlimited Custom


Vessels designed in the Space Plane Hangar can only be launched from the runway. It can also be used for landing. At the moment there is only one runway (09/27) in service with a length of 2526 m going from east to west and a width of 70 m. There is also a runway on an island to the southeast, which is available for landing but not launching. By default, craft designed in the SPH face a 90° heading (facing east) and start from the west end.

Level Cost Max vessel length (m) Max vessel width/height (m) Max vessel mass (t)
1 Start 20 15 18
2 90 000 36 28 140
3 560 000 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

Tracking Station

The Tracking Station allows access, observation and management of all missions currently active, including splashed-down or landed ships. Note that this does not include crashed or otherwise ended missions. Any Kerbals, craft or debris safely on Kerbin's surface can be recovered here. Debris can be tracked and deleted here. Celestial bodies can also be observed at the Tracking Station.

Level Cost Functions
1 Start Orbits visible in map
2 140 000 Patched Conics visible in map
3 875 000 Patched Conics visible in map and unowned object tracking

Astronaut Complex

The Astronaut Complex allows hiring of astronauts to join the crew of future missions.

Level Cost Capacity Kerbals can EVA and plant flags
1 Start 5 Kerbals Unavailable
2 70 000 12 Kerbals Available
3 437 000 Unlimited Available

Flag Pole

The Flag Pole is located in front of the Astronaut Complex and can be used to select a default mission flag. It used to be located south-west of the VAB, but was moved in version 0.21.

Career/Science Mode structures

Research and Development

The Research and Development building allows players to unlock spacecraft parts in career and science mode by researching nodes on the tech tree.

Level Cost Science limit Surface samples and resource transfer
1 Start 100 Unavailable
2 510 000 500 Available
3 3 180 000 Unlimited Available

Mission Control

Mission Control is a small building located north of the VAB and east of the SPH. It is used for getting contracts.

MC Front.png
Level Cost Active contracts Flight planning
1 Start 2 Unavailable
2 32 000 7 Available
3 200 000 Unlimited Available

Administration Facility

The Administration Facility is a small building in face of the Astronaut Complex. It is can be used for getting/using strategies.

Administration Facility.jpg
Level Cost Active strategies Commitment
1 Start 1 25.0%
2 50 000 3 60.0%
3 312 000 5 100.0%

Non-functional Structures

The illuminated water tower at night

Coolant Tanks

A big globular Coolant Tank with a climbable ladder as well as three smaller Coolant Tanks can be found south-west of the Launchpad.

Water Tower

Located south-east of the Launchpad, the Water Tower is about as tall as 1/3 of the VAB. It is possibly part of an unseen Sound Suppression Water System similar to the one at Launch Complex 39 in real life.

Flag Pole

A second flag pole can be found on the northwest of the Launch Pad.

Location of the functional buildings in the Space Center

KSP ksc.jpg
  1. Vehicle Assembly Building
  2. Launch pad
  3. Space Plane Hangar
  4. Runway
  5. Tracking Station
  6. Astronaut Complex
  7. Flag Pole
  8. Research and Development
  9. Administration Facility
  10. Mission Control

Location of the KSC on Kerbin, From Orbit


The KSC is on a roughly square-shaped, sandy peninsula on the east coast of an Africa-shaped continent. To assist in spotting the KSC from orbit, please refer to this handy map (it's marked with the red arrow):

See also