Kerbal Space Program gets full release after 25 months on Early Access

Kerbal Space Program

Right on schedule, Kerbal Space Program has lifted off—and that means it's time for the launch trailer! Get it? "Launch" trailer! That's some good comedic wordplay. Anyway, for those living on an asteroid, Kerbal Space Program is a highly-detailed but not-entirely-serious simulation of a space program in which players must design and build space-worthy ships, then launch them (and their crews) into the trackless void. The first playable version came out all the way back in mid-2011, and it's been on Steam Early Access since early 2013.

"Kerbal Space Program 1.0 is what we envisioned when development of the game started four years ago," the developers wrote in the launch announcement. "We set out to make a game in which the player is given ultimate control over the exploration of space: from designing their rockets to launching and flying them to their destinations, in a universe that was modeled to be realistic, but at the same time still be fun to play in."

The 1.0 version is also the largest update to Kerbal Space Program to date, with new and improved features including a complete overhaul of the flight model, a new heating system that simulates radiative, conductive, and convective heating and cooling, user-designed fairings that protect against drag and heat, and resource mining.

A full breakdown can be found on the Kerbal forums, while the game itself is available on Steam for 25 percent off the regular purchase price of $30/£22.50 until May 1. We'll have a review coming (fairly) soon, and in the meantime enjoy this hands-on with the "First Contact" update from last summer.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.