Chapter 2. Rockets!

It may come as a surprise to you, but Kerbal Space Program is about space. What’s better than gigantic tubes, exploding tons of fuel, and pushing your little green heroes and heroines up into the void of space? Not much, that’s what.

If you’ve ever wanted to fling things straight up as fast as possible, a rocket is the answer to your prayers. This chapter is going to talk all about rockets in KSP, and soon you’ll be throwing little green men and women into space faster than you ever thought possible.

Rocket Design

As a general rule, rocket design is all about delta-v. Delta-v, which we’ll talk about in quite some detail in “Delta-v”, is the measure of how much you can change your velocity. This is important, because getting into space, and maneuvering around while you’re up there, is all about changing your velocity. Effectively, the more delta-v you have, the farther your rocket can go.

This doesn’t mean you should just slap the biggest engine you can find onto your ship and assume you will go farther than if you used a smaller engine; bigger engines burn fuel at different rates, provide different amounts of thrust, and weigh more than smaller engines.

Tip

Despite what we say, you should definitely slap the biggest engine that you can find onto your ship and at least see what happens. Kerbal Space Program provides you with unlimited free rockets, after all. Just don’t send a Kerbonaut that you’re particularly fond of.

Your rocket should be as big as necessary ...

Get The Kerbal Player's Guide now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.