Ultimate Guide to the Kerbal Space Program w Plane Instructions and Biomes
Ultimate Guide to the Kerbal Space Program...
Wernher Von Kerman
The Kerbonaut’s Guide to the Galaxy. st
Lovingly Dedicated to: Jebediah Kerman Bob Kerman Bill Kerman The Team at Squad.
"We who are about to die, salute you."
Before you start: It is recommended that you laminate this guide. When you see a “ You should leave a tick/cross in DRY WIPE marker according to your current situation. Failure is always an option. Good luck and have fun exploring the Kerbal Kerlar System
Delta-V - In astrodynamics a Δv or delta-v (literally “change in velocity”) is a measure of the amount of the effort that is needed to change from one trajectory to another by making an orbital manoeuvre. L”X”O – Low “Enter Planet Name Here” Orbit. For example, LKO = “Low Kerbin Orbit.” Escape Velocity – The velocity required to exit a planet’s sphere of influence. Periapsis (Pe) – The lowest point in your orbit. Apoapsis (Ap) – The highest point in your orbit. Prograde/Retrograde – Prograde is “forward relative to the direction of movement” it will increase your orbital velocity.Retrograde is “backwards relative to the direction of movement” it will decrease your orbital velocity. Navball – Used to get your bearings and to navigate when in space. Thrust-To-Weight-Ratio – TWR for short is a ratio that defines the power of a craft's engines in relation to its own weight. If a craft needs to get into a stable orbit or land safely
on the current celestial body without using parachutes, then its engines must put out more thrust than its current weight to counteract gravity. In the terms of a ratio, a craft with a greater thrust than weight will have a TWR greater than 1. Inclination - The tilt of the orbit is given by the inclination. Usually the value is given in degrees where the value is given between –90° and 270°. An inclination of 0° or 180° is equatorial, so the craft is always above the equator. Navball Point of Reference - As all movement in space is relative, the point of reference determines the object from which all distance measurements and velocity vectors are made. Clicking this area will toggle the point of reference between Surface and Orbit, as indicated by the green text. If a target is selected, there is a third option, Target. Changing the point of reference changes the location of the prograde and retrograde markers. Manoeuvre Nodes - A maneuver node is a planned velocity change along an orbit. Multiple maneuver nodes can be added which will affect the following maneuver nodes. After adding a node it shows the velocity change needed to reach the next new orbit next to the navball. Manoeuvre Node Directions – Prograde/Retrograde - These vectors directly change the speed of the craft. Burning prograde will increase velocity, raising the altitude of the orbit on the other side, while burning retrograde will decrease velocity and reduce the orbit altitude on the other side. Normal/Anti-Normal - The normal vectors are orthogonal to the orbital plane. Burning normal or anti-normal will change the orbital inclination. On the navball the normal and anti-
normal vectors are located on the equator line directly between the prograde and retrograde markers. Radial in/Radial out - The radial-in vector points directly toward the center of the orbited body (center of the brown hemisphere on the navball), while the radial-out vector points directly away from it (center of the blue hemisphere). Performing a radial burn will rotate the orbit around the craft like spinning a hula hoop with a stick. Radial burns are the least efficient way of adjusting one's path - it is much more effective to use prograde and retrograde burns.
Centre of: Mass – “The centre of mass, abbreviated CoM, or centre of gravity, is the location of an object where all mass is equally distributed around it. It is important to balance a craft to prevent it from getting out of control. Planes should have a centre of mass slightly in front of the centre of lift. For all craft the thrustvector should point to, point away from or go through the centre of mass.” – Kerbal Space Program Wiki
Centre of Mass (Yellow)
Centre of Thrust (Pink) Thrust – “The centre of thrust or thrustvector is the direction in which the thrust is acting and on which point the thrust acts on the craft. The thrustvector and centre of mass should be in one line to minimize steering.” – Kerbal Space Program Wiki
Lift – “The centre of lift is used mainly when creating planes, it shows the axis and direction of lift provided by wings, control surfaces and winglets. Inside the editor it is showed as a cyan-coloured sphere (axis) along with an arrow (direction of the lift). The centre of lift should also always be behind the centre of mass.”– Kerbal Space Program Wiki
“A unique world, Kerbin has flat plains, soaring mountains and wide, blue oceans. Home to the Kerbals, it has just the right conditions to support a vast, seemingly undepletable population of the eager green creatures.” –Kerbal Astronomical Society”
Planetary Characteristics: Sphere Of Influence: 84,159.3km Atmosphere Present: Yes Oxygen Present: Yes Atmospheric Height: 69,077m Surface Gravity: 9.81m/s (1G) Escape Velocity: 3,431m/s ΔV To LO from Sea Lvl: ≈4500 m/s Synchronous Orbit: 2868.75km Pe for Aerobrake(Suggested): ≈36,000m Science Multiplier: Surface: 0.4 Atmospheric: 0.7 Space: 1
ΔV Stats (LKO): Body: Mun Minmus Eve Duna Moho Jool Eeloo KEO
Delta-V: ~860m/s ~930m/s ~1033m/s ~1060m/s ~1676m/s ~1915m/s ~2100m/s ~1120m/s
“The Muns discovery is widely regarded as one of the more important breakthroughs of Kerbal
evolution. Granted it didn’t happen all that long ago, but it’s still fair to say that Kerbals are wiser and more evolved now than they were back then.” –Kerbal Astronomical Society
Characteristics: Sphere Of Influence: 2429.6km Atmosphere Present: No Oxygen Present: No Atmospheric Height: N/A Surface Gravity: 1.63m/s (0.166G) Escape Velocity: 807.08m/s ΔV To Low Orbit: ≈800m/s Synchronous Orbit: N/A (SoI too low) Pe for Aerobrake(Suggested): N/A Science Multiplier: Surface: 4 Atmospheric: N/A Space: 3
Mun Biomes: Biome: Midlands Midlands Craters Highlands Highland Craters Canyons Northern Basin East Crater Northwest Crater Southwest Crater Farside Crater East Farside Craters Polar Crater Poles Polar Lowlands
“Minmus is the smallest moon orbiting Kerbin. From the surface of Kerbin, it can be seen on clear days as a tiny blue speck in the sky.”-Kerbal Astronomical Society Planetary Characteristics: Minmus Biomes: Sphere Of Influence: Atmosphere Present: Oxygen Present: Atmospheric Height: Surface Gravity: Escape Velocity: ΔV To Transfer: ΔV To LO from Sea Lvl: Synchronous Orbit: Pe for Aerobrake(Suggested): Science Multiplier: Surface: 5 Atmospheric: N/A Space: 4
2,247.4km No No N/A 0.491m/s (0.05G) 242.61m/s 920m/s N/A 357.94km N/A
Biomes: Highlands Midlands Lowlands Slopes Lesser Flats Flats Great Flats Greater Flats Poles
“Eve is certainly the purplest object in the solar system. Its one of the larger, most visible objects, mainly because of its very, very purple tint.”–Kerbal Astronomical Society Planetary Characteristics: Sphere Of Influence: 85,109.4km Atmosphere Present: Yes Oxygen Present: No Atmospheric Height: 96,708m Surface Gravity: 16.7m/s (1.7G) Escape Velocity: 4831.96m/s ΔV To LO From Sea Lvl: ≈11,500 m/s Synchronous Orbit: 10,328.47km Pe for Aerobrake(Suggested): ≈72,500m Science Multiplier: ~80m/s Surface: 12 Atmospheric: 7 Space: 7
ΔV Stats*: Body: Kerbin Moho Duna Dres Jool Eeloo Gilly LEO Kerbol Orbit
Delta-V: ~1030m/s ~810m/s ~190m/s ~430m/s ~1045m/s ~1230m/s ~1650m/s ~12000m/s
*(From Orbit Around Eve + Does not include getting into orbit or landing)
“Also known as the red dot that you can see if you squint at it really hard, Duna has long been a wonder to Kerbalkind.”–Kerbal Astronomical Society Planetary Characteristics: Sphere Of Influence: 47,921.9km Atmosphere Present: Yes Oxygen Present: No Atmospheric Height: 41,446m Surface Gravity: 2.94m/s (0.3G) Escape Velocity: 1372.41m/s ΔV To LO from Sea Lvl: ≈1750 m/s Synchronous Orbit: 2880.00km Pe for Aerobrake(Suggested): ≈13,000m Science Multiplier: ~110m/s Surface: 8 Atmospheric: N/A Space: 7
ΔV Stats *: Body: Ike Eve Dres Kerbin Moho Jool Eeloo LDO Kerbol Orbit
Delta-V: ~270m/s ~190m/s ~460m/s ~1060m/s ~840m/s ~1075m/s ~1260m/s ~1380m/s
*(From Orbit Around Duna + Does not include getting into orbit or landing)
“Dres is a very small planet. It was the first planet considered to be a dwarf. Its orbit is highly irregular and together with its size it took a long time to discover since half the time it was not where scientists expected to find a planet.”–Kerbal Astronomical Society
Planetary Characteristics: Sphere Of Influence: 32,832.8km Atmosphere Present: No Oxygen Present: No Atmospheric Height: N/A Surface Gravity: 1.13m/s (0.115G) Escape Velocity: 558.00m/s ΔV To LO from Sea Lvl: ≈555 m/s Synchronous Orbit: 732.24km Pe for Aerobrake(Suggested): N/A ~350m/s Science Multiplier: Surface: 8 Atmospheric: N/A Space: 7
ΔV Stats *: Body: Eve Duna Jool Kerbin Moho Eeloo LDO Kerbol Orbit
Delta-V: ~430m/s ~460m/s ~1315m/s ~1300m/s ~1080m/s ~1500m/s ~800m/s**
*(From Orbit Around Dres + Does not include getting into orbit or landing) **(Delta-V needed to get into orbit after ascent)
“Moho figures in Kerbal mythology as a fiery place with oceans of flowing lava. In reality however, its much less interesting.”–Kerbal Astronomical Society Planetary Characteristics: Sphere Of Influence: 9,646.7km Atmosphere Present: No Oxygen Present: No Atmospheric Height: N/A Surface Gravity: 2.70m/s (0.275G) Escape Velocity: 1,161.41m/s ΔV To LO from Sea Lvl: ≈1,400 m/s Synchronous Orbit: N/A (SoI too Low) Pe for Aerobrake(Suggested): N/A Science Multiplier: Surface: 9 Atmospheric: N/A Space: 8
ΔV Stats *: Body: Eve Duna Jool Kerbin Dres Eeloo LMO Kerbol Orbit
Delta-V: ~810m/s ~840m/s ~1695m/s ~1680m/s ~1080m/s ~1500m/s ~2200m/s** ~730m/s
*(From Orbit Around Moho + Does not include getting into orbit or landing) **(Delta-V needed to get into orbit after ascent)
“Jool is particularly known for being a rather large, predominantly green planet. Kerbalkind has longed to visit it since it was first spotted in the sky. Philosophers reason that the swirling green planet must be a really nice place to visit, on account of its wholesome coloration . –Kerbal Astronomical Society
Planetary Characteristics: Sphere Of Influence: 2.4559852×109 m Atmosphere Present: Yes Oxygen Present: No Atmospheric Height: 138,155km Surface Gravity: 7.85m/s (0.8G) Escape Velocity: 9,704.43m/s ΔV To LO from Sea Lvl: ≈22,000 m/s Synchronous Orbit: 15,010.46km Pe for Aerobrake(Suggested): N/A Science Multiplier: Surface: N/A Atmospheric: 7 Space: 7
ΔV Stats *: Body: Eve Duna Moho Kerbin Dres Eeloo LJO Kerbol Orbit
Delta-V: ~1045m/s ~1075m/s ~1695m/s ~1915m/s ~1315m/s ~2115m/s ~2630m/s** ~965m/s
*(From Orbit Around Jool + Does not include getting into orbit or landing) **(Delta-V needed to get into orbit after ascent)
“There’s been a considerable amount of controversy status of Eeloo as being a proper planet or just a lump of ice going around the sun. The debate is still ongoing, as most academic summits held to address the issue have devolved into, on good days, petty name calling, and on worse ones, all-out brawls. –Kerbal Astronomical
Planetary Characteristics: Sphere Of Influence: 119,082.94km Atmosphere Present: No Oxygen Present: No Atmospheric Height: N/A Surface Gravity: 1.79m/s (0.172G) Escape Velocity: 841.83m/s ΔV To LO from Sea Lvl: ≈840m/s Synchronous Orbit: 683.69km Pe for Aerobrake(Suggested): N/A Science Multiplier: Surface: 9 Atmospheric: N/A Space: 8
ΔV Stats *: Body: Eve Duna Moho Kerbin Dres Jool LEO Kerbol Orbit
Delta-V: ~1230m/s ~1260m/s ~1880m/s ~2100m/s ~1500m/s ~2115m/s ~2100m/s** ~1150m/s
*(From Orbit Around Eeloo + Does not include getting into orbit or landing) **(Delta-V needed to get into orbit after ascent)
Time Warp Altitudes
Airplane Construction (By Keptin)
VAB Checklist* Booster: Fuel Engines SRB’S Decouplers Struts! Control Surfaces Correct Staging Action Groups LES (Launch Escape System)
Orbital Stage: RCS Monopropellant Fuel Engine (LV-909/Poodle) Batteries Solar Panels/Reactor Docking Port
Lander/Descent Stage: Landing Legs Ladder Lights Parachutes Command Module S.A.S/Reaction Wheels
More RCS and Monopropellant Fuel Engine (LV-909/Poodle) Batteries Solar Panels Crew (Jeb, Bill, Bob) Science (Goo, Materials) Clear Hatch Snacks! *Some parts may not be available if you play in Career mode.
Rocket Construction Tools Presuming that you’ve already built your first rocket (If not, whack a RT-10 Solid Fuel Booster onto a Command Pod Mk1 and launch!) These are tools designed to help make more efficient rockets:
To use this nomogram, pick a dV on the left and Isp on the right. Draw a straight line between them. The required mass fraction of your vehicle/stage is where your line crosses the Mass Fraction scale.
Do the same as before, choose your desired payload weight on the left and your mass fraction which you obtained beforehand and draw a straight line between them. This is the amount of fuel you will need to lift the payload, the dry fuel tanks and fuel.
You Done Goofed! Check That: Hatch isn’t obstructed! Landing leg orientation is correct! You have enough electricity! You have strutted EVERYTHING! You have sufficient fuel supplies! You have crew! Action groups are set up! You have science modules! Parachutes for landings!
Flight Checklist: Pre-Launch: S.A.S Staging Crew Damage Check 5P’s: Pods: Command Modules, Habitats etc. Propulsion: Fuel and Engines Power: Panels, Batteries, Reactors Piloting: RCS, S.A.S etc. People: Crew, (If using TAC) Food, Water etc.
Launch: Increase Throttle Activate First Stage
Ascent Stage: Jettison SRB’s At 7.5-10km, Complete Gravity Turn Continue To Burn Until Desired Apoapsis is Reached
Orbital Stage: Burn Pro-Grade until the Periapsis is within 0-3km of the Apoapsis Height Deploy Solar Panels Do Science
Perform Transfer Stage OR Burn RetroGrade to return to Kerbin.
Pre-Landing (When Returning or Landing Anywhere): Retract Solar Panels and Antenna Deploy Legs Arm Parachutes Crew Check Select Landing Area
Post Landing: Do Science! Stretch Legs! Recover Vehicle (If landed on Kerbin)!
Orbit Guide 1) Build a rocket. It should have enough Delta-V to get into LKO. A minimalistic rocket would be: Command Pod Mk1 FL-T400 Fuel Tank LV-909 Liquid Fuel Engine TR-18A Stack Decoupler FL-T800 Fuel Tank LV-T30 Liquid Fuel Engine 2) Turn SAS on and throttle up 3) Countdown from 10. 4) Press Space to launch and wait until you are at 10,000m, ensure that you head directly up (Keep your dot on the blue top dot on the Navball) 5) Jettison your first stage with the spacebar 6) Throttle down to 2/3rd power 7) Turn 45 degrees East (Press D) and burn until your apoapsis is at 70-75km. You can check this by pressing M. 8) As you approach apoapsis, orient your ship to the 0-degree latitude mark (Directly East) between the blue and brown halves of the navball. 9) Once you are 10-30 seconds away from apoapsis, begin your orbital burn by using the Shift key to throttle up. You can go at full throttle or partial throttle, but you may overshoot when at full throttle. 10) Wait until a periapsis appears directly opposite to your apoapsis and wait until it’s altitude becomes >70km. Hit X to turn off your engines instantly. 11) Congratulations, you have made orbit!
Courtesy of Leforian
1. Time your launch by putting the target slightly behind KSC in its orbit like this.
2. As you are burning start your gravity turn at the normal altitude. 3. In orbital view try to get your apoapsis to meet the target's orbit ahead of the target.
4. The tricky part is determining where to put the apoapsis. You can make it encounter sooner by burning more vertically, and encounter later by burning more horizontally.
5. I misjudged the timing and my apoapsis crossed the orbit too late.
The top red carrot is where I will be, and the bottom carrot is where my target will be. I need to push my apoapsis farther away. Remember that burning directly prograde will raise your apoapsis further, so you will also have to burn slightly down in pitch to keep your apoapsis at the altitude you need.
6. After moving my apoapsis forward for a minute or two I get a good 100 meter-ish encounter.
Formula Sheet “For when you feel like Wernher Von Kerman”
Thrust to Weight Ratio – Ft - Engine Thrust M – Total mass of the craft g – The local gravitational acceleration
Combined Specific Impulse – If the Isp is the same for all engines in a stage, then the Isp is equal to a single engine. If the Isp is different for engines in a single stage, then use the equation above.
Tsiolkovsky rocket equation – Basic Δv Calculation – Δv - the velocity change possible in m/s Mstart - the starting mass in the same unit as Mend Mend - the end mass in the same unit as Mstart Isp – the specific impulse on the engine in seconds. Fuel flow rate – Orbital velocity – µ - Gravitational Parameter of parent body (km3/s2) r – Radius of orbit (km)
Science Modules: Mystery Goo™ Containment Unit: “The Mystery Goo™ Containment Unit is a science part used to expose a goo to atmospheres and vacuum in attempts to gain science from observing the goo inside. This can be achieved either via action group or right clicking the container and clicking observe mystery goo. The unit cannot be reused after its results were transmitted, unless it is cleaned via the Mobile Processing Lab MPL-LG-2. Like EVA reports, the science gained from observing the Mystery Goo varies depending on different conditions in flight.” – Kerbal Space Program Wiki
SC-9001 Science Jr. “Science Jr. is the more advanced scientific sensor. It is used to retrieve science points and to complete science experiments in space or other celestial body. The unit cannot be reused after its results were transmitted, unless it is cleaned by theMobile Processing Lab MPL-LG-2.” – Kerbal Space Program Wiki
PresMat Barometer: “Displays atmospheric pressure to five significant figures, while active. A pressure below 0.0001 is shown as vacuum by the sensor. Lower atmospheric pressures markedly reduce lift and drag induced by the atmosphere, and cause a small change in engine efficiency.” – Kerbal Space Program Wiki
GRAVMAX Negative Gravioli Detector: “This instrument shows the gravity in your current sphere of influence to a maximum of 4 significant figures and two decimal places. This can be used with altitude to estimate the mass of the nearest celestial body or to measure its surface gravity. Alternatively, it can be used with the accelerometer and altitude to make landing estimates.” – Kerbal Space Program Wiki
2HOT Thermometer: “The 2HOT Thermometer displays temperature to 5 significant figures when activated and right-clicked. There is no unit shown but it is assumed to be degrees Celsius. The 2HOT cannot be used to earnscience while distant from a celestial body, although it will continue to tell the temperature.” – Kerbal Space Program Wiki
Easy Science At Kerbin: Gather a: Crew Report! EVA Report! Surface Sample! Mystery Goo! Materials Bay! Kerbin Biomes: Launchpad Runway KSC Mountain Shores Tundra Water Grasslands Desert Badlands Highlands Ice Caps
Flying Over Flying Over Flying Over Flying Over Flying Over Flying Over Flying Over Flying Over Flying Over Flying Over Flying Over Flying Over
Interplanetary Travel Orbital Transfer Guide 10 Year Launch Window Calendar (Earth Years) Gravity Assists Delta-V Requirements Travelling To Duna, Mun and Minmus Landing and Parachutes
Interplanetary Travel Orbital Transfer Guide 10 Year Launch Window Calendar (Earth Years) Gravity Assists Delta-V Requirements Ideal Interplanetary Phase Angles Travelling to Duna, Mun and Minmus Landing guides
Orbital Transfer Guide In map view, put the blue cross on the planet you’re orbiting and the red cross on your rocket. The point where the green line intersects your desired planet's orbit is where you want it to be when you start your transfer burn.
Gravity Assists: “A gravity assist is a maneuver in which you use a flyby of a secondary celestial body (such as a planet or moon) to alter your orbit about the primary (typically the sun, but occasionally a planet: for instance, when navigating the Joolian moon system). Gravity assists are useful because they allow you to gain or lose orbital energy or make expensive maneuvers such as plane changes for free; however, they are difficult to set up and require careful planning and lots of patience. That said, once you master them, you can manage feats you wouldn't have thought possible.” –Stochasty 1. Firstly, you have to put yourself into a transfer orbit, ensuring that the celestial body is travelling in the direction you want to go in. 2. Time Accelerate until you reach the SoI of the celestial body. 3. Plan another course correction manoeuvre at Periapsis to increase your Apoapsis height after leaving the SoI, it is most effective when you are closer to the body, but ensure you won’t collide with anything and that you won’t be accidentally aerobraking. 4. Time Accelerate until you leave the SoI of the celestial body. 5. When you check the map you will notice that your Apoapsis height has increased. 6. You can repeat this, changing your course when furthest away from the body you are getting a gravity assist from, until you have reached a the SoI of another planet or anywhere really. 7. You can use gravity assists to go from Kerbin to Duna, or Jool to Kerbin without using a lot of fuel. It is one of the most efficient ways of interplanetary travel but is also one of the hardest manoeuvres. 8. You can perform a powered gravity assist. Accelerating at your periapsis has the greatest effect on your apoapsis. This still applies to your periapsis during a gravity assist. When you accelerate during your fly-by, fuel is used very efficiently to increase the apoapsis of your final trajectory. This is a very difficult technique because it is hard to control your final trajectory even when using a manoeuvre node but can save a lot of time and a lot of fuel.