Kerbal Space Program – An Illustrated Guide to Unmanned Spacecraft

This guide will give a short explanation on how to create an unmanned spacecraft, or, more specifically, an orbiter.

The Basics: What You Need

To make a working spacecraft, you absolutely need a few different parts:

  • A computerized system to control the spacecraft.
  • Some sort of battery pack.
  • A monopropellant tank.
  • A communications relay.
  • 2 or 3 solar arrays.
  • 4 to 8 RCS thrusters.

The cheapest spacecraft you can make, following these guidelines, looks like this:

Remember, however, that you will still need a rocket to get it into space and, if you want it to do a lot more good, and some science equipment, such as a thermometer. I often make a much bigger orbiter
that looks like this:

This is okay too. Anything is, as long as it follows the parameters above.

Making an Orbiter: a Walkthrough

First, start with a RC-001S Remote Guidance Unit as the base, or, as I like to call it, the computer. Next, attach a Z-1K Rechargeable Battery Pack to the bottom of the computer and a FL-R25 RCS Fuel Tank to the bottom of that. Now put an Advanced Inline Stabilizer to the top of the computer. Your orbiter should now look like this:

Now, for the small stuff. Turn on symmetry (x2) and place a Gigantor XL Solar Array on each side (remember, with symmetry). Now, click on symmetry 3 more times to make it x6. Now, put 6 Yawmaster RCS250 Light RCS thruster blocks onto the RCS Fuel Tank. We still need a communications unit, so turn symmetry off and place one Communotron DTS-M1 data transmitter on. Your orbiter should now look like this:

We’re almost done! Yay! Now for safety, place a MK16-XL Parachute on top. I forgot to turn the solar arrays horizontally, so do that now. Place an AE-FF2 Airstream Protective Shell around the spacecraft for better protection, and a Heat Shield (2.5m) on the bottom just in case. The finished product should look like this on the outside:

And this on the inside:

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13521 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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