A popular spaceflight simulation game has now added the parts for its players to restage some of the most iconic moments from space history.
"Making History," the first expansion pack for Kerbal Space Program since the game's introduction in 2011, includes a "History Pack" with mission scenarios inspired by historical events and new rocket and spacecraft parts based directly on the look and function of the United States' and Russia's historic launch vehicles.
"[The] Making History Expansion pays homage to the glory days of the Space Race, while celebrating the creativity we see daily from the Kerbal Space Program community," said Ed Tomaszewski, the director of business development for Private Division, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive. [Best Spaceflight and Space History Books to Read in 2018]
In Kerbal Space Program (KSP), players are put in charge of the nascent space program for an alien race known as the Kerbals. Using an array of rocket stages, engines and other parts, players try to build a fully-functional spacecraft that flies — or doesn't — based on realistic aerodynamics and orbital physics.
With "Making History," players can now create, save and share their own custom space missions or play a variety of pre-made missions that were inspired by humankind's own space exploration.
"From spacewalking to crash landing on the Mun [KSP's version of the moon] and everything in between, players can attempt to recreate iconic moments inspired by historic events — but with a unique Kerbal twist," Private Division and Squad, KSP's original developer, described in a press release on Tuesday (March 13).
The "Making History" expansion also includes a number of new parts and astronaut suits inspired by the Space Race that players can use throughout the game.
"There are a ton of different capsules," said Scott Manley, a self-described "infamous Youtube Rocket Scientist" (and Apple software developer) who makes videos about KSP, in a first look at the "Making History" expansion. "There are a bunch of new parts which match up to the early U.S. and Soviet space programs."
The new parts include capsules modeled after the Soviet Vostok, Voskhod and Soyuz spacecraft — in KSP referred to, respectively, as the KV-1 "Onion," KV-2 "Pea" and KV-3 "Pomegranate — as well as NASA's two-seater Gemini (or MK-2 command pod) and the Apollo lunar module (Munar Excursion Module, or M.E.M.). The game already included spacecraft parts based on the Mercury capsule and Apollo command module, although they get a new look with the expansion to match the new additions.
As for the rockets, stages and adapters now have multiple skins players can select to match the look of the Soviet R-7, U.S. Titan II, shuttle external tank (or the Space Launch System core) and, with the addition of a new larger stage (tank), the iconic Saturn V moon booster.
"I can finally do my favorite mission in Kerbal!" exclaimed Tim Dodd, also known as the "Everyday Astronaut," as he attempted to fly a Kerbal version of the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in a video of him playing the "Making History" expansion.
"The Making History Expansion provides players with new tools to expand their creativity and design more exciting content to share," Nestor Gomez, lead producer at Squad, said in a statement. "We are looking forward to seeing the different kinds of missions our community comes up."
Kerbal Space Program: Making History Expansion is now available on PC for $14.99 on the Steam digital distribution platform and will soon be available on GOG and other third party resellers. All players who bought KSP through April 2013 can receive the expansion for free.
Watch the cinematic trailer for Kerbal Space Program: Making History at collectSPACE.
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