It’s been floating in alpha for what seems forever, but Kerbal Space Program has today finally locked docking clamps with the next phase of its mission: beta. And with that version 0.90.0 is launched, and it comes with rocket smoke-trail long list of updated features and fixes.
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“Building upon a long term project that was introduced with the last update’s destructible facilities,” wrote SQUAD in a new blog post. “players will now have the ability to start from the ground up with a basic space center and turn it into a sprawling compound in the new upgradable facilities feature. It’s not just buildings, either. Players will unlock new capabilities and bonuses as their career path progresses.”
The update brings 170 different changes to the game, all of which you can view in the changelog on page 2. The most interesting of the additions though the the RPG-like progression path for Kerbals. With each mission they now gain XP, which contributes to their overall skill level. Kerbals are split into classes – pilot, scientist, and engineer – which make choosing the right ones vital when hiring new staff, and developing them a long-term goal. The more advanced your team, the better the chances of success.
A retooled craft editor, larger contracts system, many new biomes, and parts for the Mk3 SpacePlane are also prominent new additions.
Editor Overhaul (Gizmos):
* Added Offset and Rotation Gizmos to Editor ( and  keys)
* Added Re-root tool to Editor ( key)
* Gizmo coordinate system can be toggled between Absolute and Local with the [F] key.
* Rotation and Offset gizmos can also snap to angles and to a 3D grid.
* Gizmo snap can be toggled to constrain to an absolute grid or a local one depending on coordinate frame.
* Holding shift during placement or while gizmos are up will decrease angle snap interval to 5° (from 15°) and grid snap interval (for offset gizmo)
* WSADQE keys still work to rotate in 90° or 5° (Shift) increments, and are now more consistent with pitch, yaw and roll rotations.
Editor Overhaul (Parts List):
* Fully overhauled Parts List UI.
* Added Filters system to allow new methods to find parts, apart from the existing category tabs.
* Existing categories overhauled into ‘By Function’ Filter.
* Split Propulsion category into Engines and Fuel Tanks.
* Added ‘By Resource’ Part Filter: Lists parts based on resources they contain/use
* Added ‘By Manufacturer’ Filter: Lists parts based on their manufacturers
* Added ‘By Module’ Filter: Lists parts based on the modules (functionalities) they implement.
* Added ‘By Tech Level’ Filter: Lists parts based on their corresponding Tier on the Tech Tree.
* Custom Filters (and subcategories) can also be created and edited for user-made collections of parts.
* The Parts list can now be sorted based on several criteria (to organize displayed parts after filtering).
* Added Sorting by Size to parts list
* Added Sorting by Cost to parts list
* Added Sorting by Mass to parts list
* Added Sorting by Name to parts list (default)
* Subassemblies can also be sorted and arranged into custom categories.
Editor Overhaul (General):
* The VAB and SPH are now based on a single scene.
* Editor Logic fully overhauled and rewritten using the very reliable KerbalFSM framework used for character animation and many other systems in the game.
* Most editor Keyboard inputs are now remappable.
* All Craft files can now be cross-loaded in the VAB and SPH.
* Crew assignment is now fully persistent during construction, including detached parts.
* Vastly improved placement logic for angle-snapped parts.
* Symmetry methods can be toggled between Radial (VAB) or Mirror (SPH) using the [R] Key
* Radial Symmetry coordinate frame can also be toggled with [F] key.
Upgradeable Space Center Facilities:
* All KSC Facilities can now be upgraded through levels (currently 3 levels implemented for all facilities).
* Added new models for KSC facilities at each level.
* KSC Facilities now start at level 1 (in Career Mode), and can be upgraded to top level separately.
* Upgrading Facilities costs Funds, lots of Funds.
* Repair Cost of destroyed structures varies depending on facility level. (Higher-Level Facilities are more expensive to repair)
KSC Facility Upgrade Effects:
* Vehicle Assembly Building / Spaceplane Hangar:
– Increase part count limit
– Unlock Basic and Custom Action groups
* Launchpad / Runway:
– Increase Mass Limit for launched vessels
– Increase Size Limit for launched vessels
* Tracking Station:
– Unlock Patched Conics in Map View
– Unlock Unowned Object Tracking
* Astronaut Complex:
– Unlock EVAs off of Kerbin’s surface.
– Increase Active Crew Limit
– Unlock Flag-Planting during EVA
– Increase Active Strategy Limit
– Increase Strategy Commitment Limit
* Research And Development:
– Increase Max Science Cost Limit
– Unlock part-to-part Fuel Transfer
– Unlock EVA Surface Sample experiment (requires EVA on Astronaut Complex)
* Mission Control:
– Increase Max Active Contract Limit
– Unlock Flight Planning (Requires Patched Conics in Tracking Station)
Space Center (General):
* All KSC Facilities in all levels are destructible (except level 1 runway and level 1 launchpad, which are indestructible).
* Hold Ctrl while Right-Clicking over KSC Facilities to display ‘extra’ options concerning upgrade levels.
* Expanded Context Menu for KSC Facilities, to allow upgrading and viewing the current (and next) level stats.
* Hovering over the Upgrade button on the Facility Context Menu will display stats for the next level.
* Space Center ground sections and Crawlerway change levels based on level of neighboring facilities.
* The Flag Pole in front of the Astronaut Complex will change levels based on the average level of all KSC Structures.
* Editor scenery now loads independently of the editor scene.
* Exterior Scenery (out-the-door view) loads based on current editor Facility (VAB or SPH)
* The KSC as seen from the editor facilities will change to reflect current level and destruction state of visible facilities outside.
* Interior Scenery loads based on current editor Facility and Facility Level.
* Added new 3D interior scenery for Level 1 and 2 VAB
* Added new 3D interior scenery for Level 1 and 2 SPH
* Added new 2D interior backdrops for Level 1 and 2 Astronaut Complex UI
* Added new 2D interior backdrops for Level 1 and 2 R&D UI (Archives Tab)
* Added new 2D interior backdrops for Level 1 and 2 Mission Control UI
* Added new 2D interior backdrops for Level 1 and 2 Administration UI
Parts (Mk3 Spaceplane Set):
* Added 15 new ‘Mk3’ parts:
– Mk3 Cockpit (IVA is blank atm)
– 3 Mk3 Rocket Fuel Tanks (2.5m, 5m, 10m versions)
– 3 Mk3 Liquid Fuel Tanks (2.5m, 5m, 10m versions)
– Mk3 MonoProp Tank
– Mk3 Crew Tank (holds 16 Kerbals, IVA is blank)
– Mk3 – Mk2 Adapter
– Mk3 – 1.25m Adapter
– Mk3 – 2.5m Adapter (slanted)
– 1.25m to Mk2 Adapter
– 1.25m to 2.5m Adapter
– 1.25m to 2.5m Adapter (slanted)
– 3.75m to Mk3 Adapter
– Mk3 Cargo Bay Long
– Mk3 Cargo Bay Medium
– Mk3 Cargo Bay Short
* Old Mk3 cockpit, fuselage and adapter removed.
* Struts and Fuel Lines now use a common base system called CompoundPart.
* New CompoundPartModule base class added to provide functionality for parts based on CompoundPart.
* Added CModuleLinkedMesh CompoundPartModule, handles the mesh objects connecting between both ends of a CompoundPart.
* Added CModuleStrut, creates a physical Joint between both ends of a CompoundPart
* Added CModuleFuelLine, creates a fuel re-routing between both ends of a CompoundPart.
* LandingGear and Rover Wheels ‘Invert Steering’ option now changes to ‘Uninvert Steering’ when inverted.
* Part-to-Part Resource Transfer now possible between more than 2 parts. (In/Out options will push/pull from all other selected parts evenly)
* Kerbals now have Skills they can develop.
* Kerbals now gain experience after returning from missions.
* Kerbal Experience is needed to level up crew skills.
* Added Scientist Skill. Scientists increase recovery value of collected data, transmission value of uploaded data and the lab boost factor (when manning a lab).
* Added Engineer Skill. Engineers are able to repair broken parts like Rover Wheels and repack parachutes.
* Added Pilot Skill. Pilots provide SAS features at various levels. Basic SAS is available as long as at least one pilot is aboard.
* Crews in the Astronaut Complex can now be Sacked (if available) or given up for dead (if missing).
* SAS is no longer available in any vessel for free. A pilot or an operational SAS-cabable probe core are needed for SAS to be available.
* Level 0 pilots and basic probes provide basic SAS functionality (kill rotation)
* Higher level pilots and more advanced probes provide new Autopilot Functions.
* Added new Autopilot System featuring 8 modes:
– Stability Assist (Basic SAS)
– Prograde/Retrograde Hold (Level 1 Required: Automatically orient and maintain attitude towards prograde or retrograde vectors.
– Radial In/Out, Normal/Antinormal Hold (Level 2 Required): Automatically orient and maintain attitude towards R+, R-, N and AN vectors.
– Target/Anti-Target Hold (Level 3 Required): Automatically orient and maintain attitude towards the selected target.
– Maneuver Hold (Level 3 Required): Automatically orient and maintain attitude towards the first upcoming maneuver’s burn vector.
* AP modes respect the current reference frame on the navball (surface, orbit or target).
* Overhauled the existing ModuleSAS part module so it acts as a SAS provider in any level.
* Removed ModuleSAS from all parts except probe cores.
* Tweaked the R&D tech tree progression for all probe cores.
* Tweaked costs and descriptions for all probe cores.
* Probe cores set up with progressing levels of SAS service.
New Contracts (Fine Print Mod by Arsonide):
* Added asteroid redirection contracts.
* Added surface outpost construction contracts.
* Added orbital station construction contracts.
* Added satellite deployment contracts.
* Added survey contracts at specified locations on the map.
* Fine Print contracts revised and overhauled with new graphics and to follow Career progression.
* Fine Print contracts unlock based on KSC Facility level when applicable.
* Existing contracts also revised to better follow progression of KSC facilities.
* Existing and new contracts revised to be configurable.
* Added new Biome Maps to all celestial bodies.
* Over a hundred new biomes available in total.
* Added cheat menu option to visualize biomes in map view.
* Added a one-page ‘Welcome Intro’ tutorial module to all newly-started games.
* Added new Edge Highlight visual effect when hovering over part icons on the staging UI, or when selecting a new root part or choosing a part to transfer crew to.
* Added new Tooltips for several UI controls in the Editor, R&D, Flight and many other areas.
* Added new ESA flags.
* Improved some of the Loading Screen images.
* Added new Craft Stats app to Editor toolbar, to display ship information like part count, total mass and size.
* Craft Stats app icon will turn orange if any limit is exceeded for the current editor facility level.
* Added new sound fx for gizmos and re-root in editors.
* Added new destruction FX for all new facility models.
* Added EditorBounds system to define part spawn point, construction boundaries, camera starting position and bounds for each editor interior.
Bug Fixes and Tweaks:
* KSPScenario ‘Remove’ creation options now work.
* Added new PreSAS and PostSAS callbacks to vessel API.
* Revised VAB and SPH camera behaviour so they stay within scenery bounds as best they can.
* Overhauled time-of-day system for KSC emissive textures. All facilities light up at night. (except ones without lights, like lvl1 runway)
* Fixed several issues with destructible building persistence.
* KSC grounds grass shader now uses worldspace UV coords for consistent tiling.
* KSC grounds grass shader now enforces vertex normals to smooth out the transition between PQS and KSC terrain.
* Linux version now forces thread locale to ‘en’. Solves most issues with installs in foreign locales.
* Fixed several issues with Undo/Redo (ctrl+Z, ctrl+Y) in the editors.
* Tweaked sideslip factor in landing gear (was much too strong).
* Increased Mk55 Engine’s ISP and gimbal range.
* Fixed an issue with part rotation and placement using Mirror symmetry.
* Fixed issues with symmetrical ‘subgroups’ after attaching a parent part using symmetry.
* Re-saved all stock craft so they are fully compatible with this version.
* Existing craft files from previous versions will require re-saving in the editor before they are allowed to launch in Career Mode, to calculate size data.
* Crew auto-hire will respect Astronaut Complex crew limit.