Kerbal Space Program: The Minmus Space Station

Just over a year ago I docked two space ships in Kerbal Space Program for the first time. It was extremely difficult. The first time you do it it’s like balancing a full cup of tea on a 1m pole while cycling down the road on a unicycle. With the pole standing on your nose. It’s something I’ve mostly shied away from as it’s so frustrating.

However, after watching this video I tried again. Balancing my craft is made a lot easier by “hacking gravity” to test that the RCS ports are in the right place, setting the camera mode to chase, and the docking alignment indicator makes final approach more manageable. It’s still not easy but it’s not impossible. So I went a little overboard..

Space Station around Minmus

This is my space station around Minmus. It has a portable laboratory for processing science experiments brought up from the moon’s surface and plenty of fuel for refuelling. It’s also made up of space craft from 3 different launches all docked together. The capsule on the surface side of the station can be detached and can fly back to Kerbin with any valuable science. As you can see, Kenlorf Kerman is overjoyed with his new space station. He better be, he might be there for quite a while!

OK, so there aren’t any spare docking ports. I’ll, umm, have to send those up on the next launch. It’s lucky that Jeb is a competent pilot and can manoeuvre his craft around with ease when a new section arrives. Nothing scares him.

Jebediah and Kenlorf

Update! The space station has progressed. It’s longer after I sent up more rocket fuel and RCS monopropellant. My lander has been down to Minmus twice collecting science and I sent one command module back to Kerbin brimming with science. I then added a new section to the space station with 4 new docking ports. Getting them there was hair raising. I nearly ran out of RCS propellant. Gulp.

Minmus Space Station


KSP: docked with Blarney Space Station

Wow, Kerbal Space Program can really test your stamina. I finally docked a crew quarters with my space station this evening. It almost broke my heart and resolve to play this game but after taking a break from it I tried again. After a number of manual test launches I reluctantly enabled the “ascent autopilot” because my rockets were blowing up so often it was getting tiresome. I eventually went overboard and used 4 mainsail rockets and the huge orange fuel tanks. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked!

On "final" approach. I had to repeat this several times to line up.
On “final” approach. I had to repeat this several times to line up.
Crew quarters and 3 Kerbals docked with the space station. Note the illumination lighting up the station.
Crew quarters and 3 Kerbals docked with the space station. Note the illumination lighting up the station.
I messed up when I built the station. There's a docking bay at the end but it's turned the wrong way. Argh!
I messed up when I built the station. There’s a docking bay at the end but it’s turned the wrong way. Argh!

Kerbal Space Program is at times (most of the time) a frustrating and difficult game to play but also has these (too infrequent) joyous moments when something goes right. It took more than a dozen attempts to launch the crew quarters and monopropelent into space and when I finally managed to dock I had a tiny amount of the fuel left. Scott Manley makes it look way too easy!

Scott has some great tutorials but AddMeGamers has some very good ones too that are worth checking out too. Be sure to check out r/kerbalspaceprogram on Reddit as there’s an influx of new players and plenty of help given.

The game recently became available on Steam and it immediately jumped into the top 10 best sellers so I guess there are lots of people sharing my frustration. Great game however, I definitely recommend it!