Campaign: Kerbals in Space

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Kerbol System Exploration Campaigns Shuttle Program


Scientists of the Kerbal Space Program wielded their public influence to push their respective governments into action on a number of goals, the first of which required the first semi-permanent establishments of Kerbals in space. The first space stations were designed, built, and launched into Kerbin orbit to be used for scientific experimentation. Despite a unified space program, and for political reasons, the Kerbicans and Kerbiets launched separate space stations at first, Kaylut and Kylab respectively. As more trust was built between participating nations, a new shared station, called KIR was developed, and later a module added so shuttles from the new Shuttle Program could dock with ease.

By the end of the week, you will have mastered (somewhat) the art of building things in space. Missions are based on space stations of the 1970's and 80's, including Salyut Stations ('71-'86), Skylab ('73-'74) and Mir Station ('86-2000).


  • Length: 5-10 hours (depending on docking proficiency)
  • Difficulty: 6/10 (Proficient)
  • Skills needed:
  1. Intermediate navigation via maneuver node
  2. Advanced orbiting
  3. Intermediate understanding of launch windows
  4. Intermediate understanding of intercepts/rendezvous
  5. Intermediate docking
  6. Ability to complete Kerbinai Program
  7. Ability to complete Mun Race
  • For version: Every version (tested on 0.20.2)

Recommended Mods

  • Tantares - This mod has Salyut 7, and since we won't be launching seven Kalyuts in succession, we don't really need the other six stations. We'll also continue using the Soyuz parts, and now Progress is making its entry. Tantares also has the parts necessary to build Mir.
  • Bluedog Design Bureau - Breaking out this mod again, the Apollo parts will be needed to get crew to and from Kylab. Note that the Skylab does not include a motor for moving the Apollo Telescope Mount from its launch position (the latest dev version on Github does have the motor, but this isn't a stable release, so use at your own risk). Fortunately, the mount itself is a probe that you can undock and manouver. Another option is downloading this craft from KerbalX, which is a Saturn V with a CSM and the ascent module of the LM attached to the telescope mount, which you can then put two crew into and dock it to Skylab that way; this was an actual proposal NASA had for Skylab, so you'll be experiencing the history that could've been. It also includes the Apollo Block III and Saturn IC (from Eyes Turned Skyward); the Block III has a smaller and lighter service module better suited for space station operations, and the Saturn IC is a Saturn IB with a single F-1A engine as opposed to eight H-1 engines.


Kerbollo Block III Testing (Modded Approach Only)

  • Launch the new Block III Kerbollo spacecraft and Katurn IC on a test flight.
  1. Basically, repeat KS-203 from the Mun Race campaign. Having crew on this flight is optional, but remember to bring them back safely.
  2. For the stock approach, just use the Kerbal X craft that comes with the game, removing the nose-mounted parachute and the landing legs in favor of radially-mounted parachutes and a Clamp-O-Tron docking port. For modded, BDB comes with everything you need to make the Apollo Block III and Saturn IC from the popular alternate history project Eyes Turned Skyward (we highly recommend reading it for ideas to put together your own campaign).


  • Launch a single habitation module station into orbit.
  1. Should be remotely controlled and unmanned
  2. Module must include a Hitchiker Storage tank, command module, small service bay and be electrically self-sustainable.
  3. Module should include SAS and RCS control
  4. Module should include 3 radial solar panels for realism.
  5. Insert into 120km circular orbit (non-equitorial for a challenge and realism, 52°).
  1. Launch a spaceship and dock with the new station.
  2. Leave at least 1 Kerbal on board.
  3. Return at least 1 Kerbal to Kerbin.
  • Launch a robotic ship to return your station Kerbal(s) back to Kerbin safely.
  1. Launch a remotely controlled ship to dock with the station.
  2. All Kerbals must leave the station with the new ship and land safely.
  • Deorbit your station lest the Kerbicans come up later and mess up your room while you're away.
  1. No Kerbals may be harmed in the making of this mission.

Supply Vehicle (Modded Approach Only)

  • Test an unmanned supply vehicle (the AARDV in the BDB mod)
  1. Again, just repeat KS-203. Recovery is 100% optional, though highly unlikely unless you know what a soft reentry is and have the skill to soft-land on Kerbin.


Launch a dual module space station into orbit, with an attached large fuel tank, and dock a spaceship with it.

  • Launch and assemble a space station from two separate modules.
  1. Should be in a circular LKO (non-equitorial for a challenge and realism, 50°).
  2. Each module must be launched separately.
  3. Man your station if its not already manned.
  4. Leave at least 1 Kerbal on board.
  5. Return at least 1 Kerbal to Kerbin.
  • Launch a ship to return your station Kerbal(s) back to Kerbin safely.
  1. Ship can be manned or unmanned but must be capable of returning all station Kerbals to Kerbin.
  2. Ship must dock with the station.
  • Deorbit your station lest the Kerbiets come up later and mess up your room while you're away, or keep it in orbit for future expansion (after all, if you're using the modded approach, it's very, very unlikely Kerbiet spacecraft have a compatible docking system).
  1. No Kerbals may be harmed in the making of this mission.


The Kerbiets push for a permanent shared space station called the Kerbal International Restaurant. Snacks were in high demand by Kerbonauts and it was thought such a place of mutual snacking would help foster camaraderie among the new international Kerbonaught corps.
  • Launch and build a permanent space station in LKO.
  1. Station should have 3 or more modules docked after separate launches.
  2. Station must orbit Kerbin bteween 120km and 260km (non-equitorial for a challenge and realism, 52°).
  3. Must have room for 5 Kerbals at a time. (The station staffs only 3 at a time, allowing for 2 visitors fron visiting spacecraft.)
  4. One section must contain fuel tanks for visiting spacecraft.
  5. One section must contain living quarters.
  6. One section must be designated as the operations center containing antennas, solar panels, and science instruments.
  7. Station much contain at least two docking ports on opposite ends of the station.
  8. Station must contain a third docking port centrally located on the station, with a permanent escape spacecraft docked capable of transporting 3 Kerbals safely to Kerbin.
(Note: A station at 120km has a 50x timewarp available, at 160km the graphics for Kerbin downgrades helping to improve resolution and video processing, and at 240km the 100x timewarp is available.)

Final Word

If you build it, they will come... space tourists that is. Well, at least not for a long while. Space Shuttles were designed to take advantage of the new orbiting space stations being developed over Kerbin, and the Kerbal Shuttle Program began in earnest.