Kerbal Space Program’s second expansion lets you do science on the final frontier

Breaking Ground comes with new ship parts and planetary features to help with your new scientific endeavours

If you thought you’d already reached Kerbal Space Program’s final frontier, it’s time to think again. In an announcement yesterday, developer Squad reveal a new expansion for the space sim, Breaking Ground, set to release later this month.

The focus of Breaking Ground isn’t to push yourself further into the reaches of space, however. Instead, you’ll be working on conducting a series of experiments on the surfaces of the planets you visit, building science bases, as well as generators to power them. Your bases will gather data from the experiments your unceasingly optimistic (or panicked) Kerbals carry out.

As for what those experiments entail, it seems that there’ll be plenty of crashing big space things into other big space things and measuring the ensuing earthquakes. Those big space things will also have new features to analyse. Craters, mineral formations, and even cryovolcanoes will all mean that the planets you land on will be a little more interesting than before, which should make controlling your rover (which you’ll need in order to gather samples) a little trickier than it once was.

If you do fancy a little more space-faring, there’ll be a whole suite of new parts on offer. They’ll primarily be there to help create new robotic craft, and Squad says that they’ll include “some new control mechanics” to help you come up with a wide variety of vehicles.

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Breaking Ground will release on May 30 for $14.99 (£11.45). Anyone who purchased the main game through April 2013 will receive the expansion for free, although details on how that will work will be published in the coming weeks.