Kerbal Space Program's much-teased First Contract update has launched. Not launched in the rocketry sense—with drama, tension and spectacle. It's more likely that someone simply clicked a button. Job done. To add at least some ceremony to update 0.24, SQUAD have released a new 'cinematic' (read: completely unrelated to anything) video, detailing the further adventures of Kerbalnaut Jeb.
First Contract gives a big boost to the game's career mode. Not only are there the new resources Funds and Reputation to manage, but also missions, taken at the behest of in-game companies. Rather than just pursue science in an abstract way, you're now expected to take on specific contracts—completing a variety of challenges for additional funds and glory.
The game also now offers a 64-bit mode—which should offer some performance stability, particularly for those who like to bulk out the game with mods.
For a more detailed look at the First Contract cargo, check out Ian's hands-on impressions of this latest update.