Early access for Kerbal Space Program 2 lifts off on February 24th

After several delays, Kerbal Space Program 2 is finally entering early access on February 24th, 2023. Developer Intercept Games initially announced that it was working on KSP2 back in 2019, but only revealed the early access release date for the Kerbal Space Program sequel last week, outlining its expectations in a roadmap leading up to the eventual 1.0 release. KSP2 is currently available to wishlist on Steam and will also be available on the Epic Games Store for $49.99.

The original Kerbal Space Program is a brutal, rewarding, and occasionally hilarious simulation of the complexities of space flight that allows you to construct your own rockets, shuttles, rovers, and other interstellar vehicles. All manned by the ambitious Kerbals, little green people whose unbridled enthusiasm towards space flight adds some much-needed levity to your failures.

An in-game photo of the Kerbals

These Kerbals don’t care that I’ve marooned them in orbit, they’re just happy to be here.

While a big part of the KSP experience centers around experimentation and getting things wrong, Intercept Games recognizes some of the pain points of the original KSP, and is working to smooth over some of its rougher parts with the sequel. Currently, with the upcoming early access release, players can expect a drastically improved user experience with a revamped UI, in addition to a new catalog of parts to experiment with, and perhaps most importantly, new tutorials and onboarding systems to get new players up to speed.

A timeline of the Early Access roadmap for Kerbal Space Program 2, detailing features like interstellar travel and multiplayer options

The Early Access roadmap for Kerbal Space Program 2 highlights some cool new features to expect

The list of features expected at launch is only a small part of the expansive vision surrounding KSP2. Post-launch updates are set to include off-world colony construction, interstellar travel, and multiplayer options.

Lovingly described by Astrophysicist and Kerbal expert Scott Manley as “a gateway drug to physics,” KSP has a way of teaching you what words like “delta-V” and “apoapsis” mean without you realizing it. The game allows you to make tons of mistakes and learn from them, a parallel that Intercept Games creative director Nate Simpson is keenly aware of as the studio prepares for early access. “We’re going to get some things wrong,” he says “we’re going to fail out loud, and there’s nothing more Kerbal than that”.

As a fan of both early and ongoing space exploration, I’ve spent a good chunk of time creating (and crashing) my own creations in the original KSP. While it is occasionally frustrating, I’m willing to admit that I audibly cheered when I finally managed to perform my first high-orbit intercept, and I can’t wait to send an ambitious new generation of little green people careening into the cosmos.