Kerbal Space Program 2 is here! Spark joy with exploding rockets today

For Kerbal Space Program fans, things can only get better with the new sequel.

The space exploration game popular with luminaries like Elon Musk of SpaceX and Tory Bruno of United Launch Alliance is getting a sequel 11 years after the original. Appropriately, that sequel is called Kerbal Space Program 2. A new cinematic trailer dropped today (Feb. 24) in honor of the early access release on PC.

Yes, there will be explosions as you learn your way through the game, which is based on real-life physics, and the release trailer shows a rocket launch that goes terribly wrong as boosters spiral and explode. Happily, the Kerbonaut on board pulls the abort system well in time to parachute free.

Space settlements, lunar bases and incredible interstellar exploration await, although a 1985 Howard Jones song playing in the trailer background reminds us it will take some hard work to get there: "Do you feel scared? I do / But I won't stop and falter / And if we threw it all away / Things can only get better."

Related: Kerbal Space Program 2 makes it easier than ever to launch — and crash — rockets (exclusive 1st look video)

Kerbal Space Program 2 Early Access |$49.99 $44.99 from Green Man Gaming
Save 10%

Kerbal Space Program 2 Early Access |$49.99 $44.99 from Green Man Gaming
Save 10%
on Kerbal Space Program 2's early access program and get a sneak peak at one of the most highly anticipated games of the year. It features more rockets, more exploring and an easier tutorial than the predecessor Kerbal Space Program that released in 2011.

KSP2's Private Division and Intercept Games are using the early release program as an opportunity to get community feedback ahead of the larger release, which will include numerous consoles and other platforms.

The sequel game is meant to be a softer experience for brand-new players, which our editor-in-chief Tariq Malik experienced while playing the game during an event earlier in February. The tutorial system, he said, uses animations instead of text and makes the feel of the game more intuitive. Malik was able to get to space rapidly with the system, although the G forces were rather extreme for his Kerbonaut.

Not all features are available yet in the early access version, but eventually there will be a whole range of new alien planets to explore, better spaceflight technology, parts that can be customized, exploration tools like time warp and "maneuver planners" and an upgraded planetary system that includes clouds, atmosphere and terrain.

"Kerbal Space Program 2 offers more than 350 original and improved parts as well as the first of many advanced fuel types: Liquid hydrogen," the developers wrote of the early access version of the game.

"The game also features enhanced visuals, expanded tutorials, a completely redesigned UI [user interface], and numerous other improvements. Players will learn through animated tutorials, tinker with customizable parts, construct powerful spacecraft, and navigate expansive celestial bodies within a physics-based sandbox."

Kerbal Space Program 2 releases in early access today, Feb. 24. You can grab it now now for 10% off at $44.99 at Green Man Gaming.

Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of "Why Am I Taller?" (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: