'Kerbal Space Program 2' update launches new Exploration Mode, 'For Science!'

Calling all Kerbonauts! 

Private Division and Intercept Games' "Kerbal Space Program 2" (KSP2) has space enthusiasts and rocket junkies at the edge of their virtual mission control panels as the highly-popular space simulation video game just announced a major new update for armchair astrophysicists and aerospace experts currently playing the sequel's Early Access version.

Fortified with authentic Kerbolar System details like actual rocket audio injected into its soundscape and a range of refreshed game features and remote destinations for your rockets and space planes, "KSP2" was first rolled out in a sneak peek sandbox iteration back in February. 

The original "Kerbal Space Program" blasted into the marketplace in 2011 and its greatly-expanded successor will showcase precise orbital mechanics, revamped graphics, physics-based logistics, personally-configured spacecraft, Mun bases, interstellar colonies and a wide variety of cosmic exploration missions.

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

Kerbal Space Program2

Kerbal Space Program 2| $49.99 from Green Man Gaming In Kerbal Space Program 2, you can recreate real space missions or just watch your creations explode in the pursuit of the Mun and beyond in this space exploration game.

Promotional art for "Kerbal Space Program 2: For Science!" (Image credit: Intercept Games)

Now PC gamers can look forward to even loftier levels of explosive exhilaration and outer space adventure for their intrepid Kerbonauts with the launch of a new Early Access game mode update, "For Science!"

Here's the official description:

"The 'For Science!' update comes with a brand-new campaign type – Exploration Mode, which adds progression and Science collection through missions, experiments, and journeying through the Kerbolar System. Collect and transmit Science from unique locations and redeem it back at the KSC's newly opened Research and Development Center to unlock new part technologies, learn novel concepts, and journey farther away from the Kerbals' home planet. While working through the tech tree, unlock the means to extend your reach across the Kerbolar System – from your home on Kerbin to the murky depths of Eve, and the furthest regions of Eeloo."

A screenshot from the new "KSP2" update, "For Science!" (Image credit: Intercept Games)

For this enhanced offering, Intercept Games' designers have added a retooled Science collection and transmission interface for "KSP2," promising easier methods to identify when opportunities arise to take measurements or collect samples via a new Experiment Actions button. A brand-new Research Inventory presents clear info regarding how much Science your daring Kerbonauts have presently gathered and the functions of transmitting that vital data.  

"For Science!'s" Mission Tracker app also aids in keeping records of in-progress and finished objectives. Invigorated flight planning tools have also been loaded into the VAB, including altitude and environment-specific readouts that indicate thrust-to-weight ratio, burn time, and Delta-V for individual stages. Finally, those days of anxiety-inducing reentries are a thing of the past with the inclusion of atmospheric re-entry heating effects and thermal component behavior.

A fiery reentry in "KSP2's" Early Access update, "For Science!" (Image credit: Intercept Games)

Additionally, the engineering team has made significant quality of life improvements, including an enhanced joint system that dramatically reduces wobbliness of large vehicles, continued gains in performance and stability alongside numerous bug fixes, updated ambient sound systems, and an all-new Boat Dock with loading cranes and gantries to employ for both in and out of missions.

In honor of this impressive "For Science!" update, "Kerbal Space Program 2" is 20% off on Steam until Jan. 4th, 2024 at 1 p.m. ET.

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.