Campaign: Space Race

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Age of Rocketry Campaigns Age of Satellites


The Age of Rocketry sparked the imaginations of Kerbals everywhere. What was once a dream was becoming reality. The race was on to put the first things into orbit. Robert Kerman and his intrepid Kerbicans aimed to launch the first Kerbal-made object into Kerbin orbit... that is, until the Kerbiets behind their Iron Kertain launched their Stayputnik into orbit. The Space Race had begun! Not to be outdone, the great Robert Kerman with his new Kerbal Space Program planned to get the first man into space... but they were outdone yet again by the Kerbiets. But in the end, the Kerbal Space Program would have the final word and launch the first Kerbal into a sustained orbit around Kerbin and bring him back safely. His legacy, the Kerbal Space Program, would come to dominate the Space Race from that point forward, but not without its share of semi-expendable half-volunteered core of Kerbonauts sacrificing their lives for the scientific good of all Kerbalkind as it began its race to the Mun.

This campaign is designed to present you with a mission manifest that will allow you to accomplish the final goal of reliably launching the Stayputnik satellite into orbit, dipping your fingers into space, and your first manned orbit and safe return.

Missions are based on the Sputnik 1, Vostok 1 and Project Mercury of the 50's and early 60's.


  • Length: 1.5-2 hours
  • Difficulty: 2/10 (Novice)
  • Skills needed:
  • For version: Every version (tested on 0.20.2 - 1.0.2)

Recommended mods

  • Tantares - This mod features Soviet/Russian spacecraft, including Vostok, Voskhod, Soyuz, Progress, TKS, Salyut, Mir, R-7, Proton, Molniya, Energia, N-1, LK lander, Venera, and much more. Building a Sputnik replica shouldn't be too hard, but if it is, KerbalX has several pre-built craft to help you (you may also have to download CONTARES, but if you do, download every pack for it, as it contains things we'll need in later campaigns).
  • Bluedog Design Bureau - This mod features many American spacecraft and launchers, including Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Vanguard, Pioneer Thor, Redstone, Atlas, Titan, Juno, Athena, Delta, and Saturn, plus Agena, the Manned Orbiting Laboratory, and Skylab, and parts from the famed alternate history timeline Eyes Turned Skyward. Many of the parts can be recolored to represent different variants (for example, the Mercury capsule can be recolored to resemble the boilerplate capsule used on Mercury-Redstone BD).


Stayputnik, the First Satellite

Launch a two-stage Liquid Fuel Rocket into orbit with a Satellite or Stayputnik 1.

  1. Reach Low Kerbin Orbit (70 km - 200 km).
  2. Decouple probe from launch stages, extend antennae.
(Tip: as your launches become more complex, it's usually a good idea to test them out to make sure your staging is set correctly.)
(Tip: try establishing an action group to extend the antennae.)

Kostok I, the First Kerbal in Space

Perform the first Orbital Flight piloted by a Kerbal [Kerbeit].

  • Spacecraft must contain: 1 Mk1 Command Pod, and a parachute system.
  • [Optional] Style the launch vehicles after the real-life Soviet Vostok-K.
  1. Launch into a trajectory with an Apoapsis greater than 70 km.
  2. Burn prograde at apoapsis until the periapsis forms above the surface. Stop and note the remaining fuel.
  3. Using less than half of the remaining fuel, burn into an orbit with a periapsis greater than 70 km.
  4. After completing at least 1 orbit, burn retrograde for a return trajectory.
  5. Yuri Kerman must return safely. This is assumed for all future missions unless otherwise specified - you don't want to scare off victims--uh, I mean, volunteers, especially this early in the space program.
  6. [Optional] If you're using KSP 1.4, eject the craft at 7000 m and land via an EVA Parachute.
  7. Land on land (that's how Yuri landed in real life).

Project Moho: John Kerman, the First Kerbican to go 'round the World

  • Perform a manned orbital flight piloted by a Kerbal [Kerbican].
  • [Optional] Style the launch vehicles after the real-life American Atlas LV-3B. If using the modded approach, BDB has Atlas rockets all set to go (it's a good idea to try building it yourself, but if you're close to ragequitting, just go to KerbalX; they have several Mercury-Atlas rockets built using BDB).
  1. Launch into an orbit greater than 70 km.
  2. Complete 3 orbits.
  3. Land in water (Bonus points if it is near the Kerbal Space Center).
  4. [Optional] Feel free to go through the rest of the Moho program. This includes two Redstone flight, and three Atlas flights.

Final Word

After the successful launch of John Kerman into a controlled orbit around Kerbin, the Kerbals overcame engineering challenges. They knew they could achieve their dreams of bringing their technology to space, beginning the Age of Satellites.