Kerbal Space Program Chronicle, part five—the journey home

Ian Birnbaum at

Kerbal Space Program is an open-world universe simulator that specializes in modeling orbits, atmosphere, gravity and rocket physics. With nothing but your wits and an array of space vehicle parts, your task is to explore. In this chronicle, I have recorded the first missions of the PCGSA, PC Gamer’s ambitious new space program.

If you want to get caught up, here are part one, part two, part three and part four.

Kerbin is still celebrating the successful Münar landing of its two heroes, Bob and Sanford Kerman. Their work is not done, however. After spending some time hopping around in the low gravity and filming enough tape so that Mün landing deniers won’t have a leg to stand on, it’s time to head home.

Getting safely back to Kerbin will be complicated, but at this point it’s just different flavors of the complicated process that we’ve already experienced, so Mission Control is feeling confident.

The base of the lander will stay behind as a monument to history and as a somewhat short-lived science station. Someone in engineering (I won’t name any names) totally forgot to add solar panels to the base station, but the on-board batteries will last for a little while. There’s also some leftover fuel in the base that I’ll be needing for my ascent back to orbit. I transfer fuel between tanks until the base is a hollow metal can with legs and instruments, and all the good stuff is in the section that will be leaving.

I decouple the link between the two sections and fire on the radial engines. In the low gravity of the Mün, the lander shoots off of its makeshift launchpad and flies upward. Barely thirty seconds later, I shut down the engines and let momentum take us the rest of the way into orbit.