Mod Spotlight – The Kerbin Shuttle Orbiter
What goes up, must come down.
In addition to being a universally accepted truth, this statement has always been an accurate description of my Kerbal Space Program shuttle missions. Try as I might to reproduce NASA’s success, anything I make with wings generally has a life expectancy of under a minute before violently exploding, flipping over, spinning out of control or all of the above.
The Kerbin Shuttle Orbiter System adds what I’ve always needed – a reusable shuttlecraft that looks good but doesn’t topple over seconds after take-off. Months in the making, the shuttle has been finely crafted by a small team of extremely dedicated modders, the kind of people who refused to release their work until absolutely ready. As an impatient person I’ve naturally been cursing them for ages, but now one of Kerbal Space Program’s most anticipated mods is finally ready for launch.
Kerbal Space Program’s Lego-like construction has always been perfect for snapping together towering rockets. I can happily piece together in minutes a phallic monster capable of reaching Kerbin’s satellite, but until now all of my attempts to build a functional and aerodynamic shuttle have resulted in a pile of flaming rubble. The curved and bulbous kerbal mini-shuttle, however, blends perfectly with KSP’s cartoon realism and could easily pass for a piece of well-crafted DLC. Both its interior and exterior are absolutely stunning, designed and constructed over several months by KSP modder Helldiver.
Containing a functional cargo bay and a number of additional attachments, the shuttle is suitably designed and flexible enough for the majority of low orbit operations. Although its fuel capacity is a little on the low side, with careful maneuvering and a little practice you’ll find it a joy to use. I’ll mainly be using it for runs to my space station until I get the hang of it, but for now I’m happy enough just looking at it.
In addition to its good looks, the craft handles remarkably well. Despite the game’s rather ungainly atmospheric physics, I managed to achieve orbit on my first attempt, something which is nothing short of a miracle. I did admittedly kill everyone on returning to the ground after a high-velocity landing (horrendous crash), but that’s more down to my piloting skills than any problem with the mod.
Download it here. It’s free, it’s awesome and an essential addition to your Kerbal fleet.
Besides, if you find you don’t like it, you can always hurl it into deep space or crash it into a planet.