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'Kerbal Space Program 2' won't launch until fall 2021

Sorry Kerbonauts, you'll have to wait a bit longer to launch into interstellar space with the much-anticipated sequel to the physics-based spaceflight simulator "Kerbal Space Program" (KSP).

Private Division, the makers of the new sequel "Kerbal Space Program 2," announced that the KSP follow-up's launch has been pushed back to fall 2021. 

"As you all know, we've been working hard to make the best and most authentic KSP sequel possible. This is an ambitious goal. We are making a big, expansive game loaded with new features, but doing so will take longer than we previously anticipated," Private Division wrote in a statement (opens in new tab) on Twitter. "With everything going on in the world today due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we're facing many unique challenges that require more time to safely iterate, create, test and make KSP2 as great as it can be."

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That's a delay of over a year from earlier target releases (which ranged from March 2020 to early 2021), and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a prime reason. 

"Kerbal Space Program 2" is a sequel to the popular KSP in which players design, build (and sometimes explode) their own rockets in the pursuit of space exploration. The sequel will include interstellar exploration and feature wild new technologies like nuclear propulsion, torchships and metallic hydrogen propellant. 

The delay means you'll have to stick with the original "Kerbal Space Program" for now. But new things are coming to the original game. 

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Last month, Private Division announced that it's teamed up with the European Space Agency for a new expansion called "Shared Horizons" that will allow players to recreate real-life European spaceflights like the Rosetta comet mission and the BepiColombo mission to Mercury. That expansion will be free for all KSP owners and will launch July 1. 

KSP and NASA also challenged players in late May to recreate SpaceX's epic first astronaut launch for NASA on a Crew Dragon spacecraft. That mission launched NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station on May 30 and successfully docked a day later. 

So, while you may have to wait a while for "Kerbal Space Program 2," you'll have a few challenges to tackle in space in the meantime. 

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Instagram.

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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter.