Kerbal Space Program's school-friendly version officially launches December 18

KerbalEdu , a cooperative, school-friendly version of space exploration sim Kerbal Space Program , will officially launch next Wednesday, December 18. The new program was created and will be managed by TeacherGaming , which previously saw success with Minecraft variant MinecraftEdu. KerbalEdu already has a small number of schools working toward setting up a program, and over 2,000 schools are in TeacherGaming's established network.

One of the main changes to the game—made with young users in mind—is a craft analyzer tool that figures out problems with a ship. If a rocket is dead on the launchpad, a student will be able to turn on the analyzer and discover that their ship is too heavy, lacks sufficient lift or has been built with the wrong type of fuel tanks. “The core of what we are trying to do is make the game more transparent and show how kids can use problem solving,” TeacherGaming co-owner Santeri Koivisto said today during a conference in Mexico City. “[The analyzer tool] frees up the teacher to give very exact tips to individual students.”

Members of the KSP development team have been helping to set up the KerbalEdu website, but eventually the network will be managed by TeacherGaming. A school in the United States is the first to start their own program, which got underway this week.

KerbalEdu release on Wednesday is considered a "soft" launch, and the team expects its MinecraftEdu network to help the educational variant grow quickly. Interested teachers and schools can head to the KerbalEdu website to get more information.