Kerbalism CKAN

Add life support, quality-of-life, radiation, malfunctions, signals and space weather mechanics.

License: Unlicense

Game Version: 1.3.0

Source code: ShotgunNinja/Kerbalism

Downloads: 110,328

Author: ShotgunNinja

Followers: 223

Outdated Mod

This mod is not known to work with the latest version of Kerbal Space Program. Proceed with caution.


Go beyond the routine of orbital mechanics and experience the full set of engineering challanges that space has to offer. This mod extend KSP by simulating the crew, the components, the resources and the environment in a more complex way. All mechanics can be configured to some degree, or even disabled if you don't like some of them. A big part of the mod is fully data-driven, so that you can create your own customized gameplay with only a text editor and a minimal amount of espresso. Or simply use the set of rules already included, or the ones shared by other users. What follow is a summary description of the capabilities of the mod, and for a more detailed documentation the user is invited to read the wiki.


Contrary to popular belief, the observable universe is not a sphere of 3km radius centered around the active vessel. All mechanics are simulated for loaded and unloaded vessels alike, without exception. Acceptable performance was obtained by a mix of smart approximations and common sense. The computational complexity is by and large independent from the number of vessels.


This isn't your classic post-facto resource simulation. Consumption and production work for all vessels, all the time, and is coherent irregardless of warp speed or storage capacity. Complex chains of transformations just work. Enjoy designing missions without the luxury of stopping the flow of time. No suspension of disbelief required.


The environment of space is modelled in a simple yet effective way. Temperature is calculated using the direct solar flux, the indirect solar flux bouncing off from celestial bodies, and the radiative infrared cooling of their surfaces. The simulation of the latter is especially interesting, and contrary to popular models it is able to reproduce satisfatory results for both atmospheric and atmosphere-less worlds. Radiation is implemented using an overlapping hierarchy of 3d zones, modelled and rendered using signed distance fields. These are used to simulate inner and outer belts, magnetospheres and even the heliopause. Solar weather is represented by Coronal Mass Ejection events, that happen sporadically, increase radiation and cause communication blackouts.


The habitat of vessels is modelled in terms of internal volume, external surface, and a set of dedicated pseudo resources. These elements are then used to calculate such things as: living space per-capita, the pressure and co2 level of the internal atmosphere, and radiation shielding. Individual habitats can be enabled or disabled, in the editor and in flight, to reconfigure the internal space and everything associated with it during the mission. Inflatable habitats are driven directly by the part pressure.


Your crew need a constant intake of Food, Water and Oxygen. Failure to provide for these needs will result in uncerimonious death. Configurable supply containers are provided.


The era of tin can interplanetary travel is over. Your crew need some living space, however minimal. Failure to provide enough living space will result in unforeseen events in the vessel, the kind that happen when operators lose concentration. While not fatal directly, they often lead to fatal consequences later on. Some basic comforts can be provided to delay the inevitable mental breakdown. Nothing fancy, just things like windows to look out, antennas to call back home, or gravity rings to generate artificial gravity. Finally, recent research point out that living in a pressurized environment is vastly superior to living in a suit. So bring some Nitrogen to compensate for leaks and keep the internal atmosphere at an acceptable pressure.


Your crew evolved in particular conditions of temperature, and at a very low level of radiation. You should reproduce these conditions whenever your crew go, no matter the external temperature or radiation at that point. Or else death ensue. The vessel habitat can be climatized at the expense of ElectricCharge. Environment radiation can be shielded by applying material layers to the hull, with obvious longevity-mass tradeoff.


A set of ECLSS components is available for installation in any pod. The scrubber for example, that must be used to keep the level of CO2 in the internal atmosphere below a threshold. Or the pressure control system, that can be used to maintain a comfortable atmospheric pressure inside the vessel. In general, if you ever heard of some kind of apparatus used by space agencies to keep the crew alive, you will find it in this mod.


No life-support-like mod would be complete without a greenhouse of some kind. The one included in this mod has a relatively complete set of input resources and by-products, in addition to some more unique characteristics like a lamp that adapt consumption to natural lighting, emergency harvesting, pressure requirements and radiation tolerance.


The stock ISRU converters can host a set of reality-inspired chemical processes. The emerging chains provide a flexible and at the same time challenging system to keep your crew alive. The stock ISRU harvesters functionality has been replaced with an equivalent one that is easier to plan against, as it is now vital for long-term manned missions. The means to harvest from atmospheres is also present, given the importance of atmospheric resources in this regard. A planetary resource distribution that mimick the real solar sytem complete the package.


Components don't last forever in the real world. This is modelled by a simple system that can trigger failures on arbitrary modules. Manufacturing quality can be choosen in the editor, per-component, and improve the MTBF but also require extra cost and mass. The crew can inspect and repair malfunctioned components. Redundancy become a key aspect of the design phase.


An alternative to the stock CommNet system is provided. Theres is a difference between low-gain and high-gain antennas: the former used for short-range inter-vessel communications, the latter always implicitly pointing at DSN. Transmission rates are realistic, and scale with distance to the point that it may take a long time to transmit data from the outer solar system. Data transmission happen transparently in loaded and unloaded vessels, as usual. The resulting communication system is simple, yet it also results in more realistic vessel and mission designs. Tiny hypnotic science-blue spheres travel the link lines to represent data transmission.


Data is collected and stored in the vessel solid state drives, instead of the stock science containers. Moving data around the vessel doesn't require extra vehicular activities. Some data can be transmitted back directly, while other data need to be analyzed in a lab first. Analyzing take a long time, happen transparently to loaded and unloaded vessels alike, and can't be cheated to create science out of thin air. An interesting method is used to bridge existing stock and third-party experiments to the new science system, that work for most experiments without requiring ad-hoc support.


Components can be automated using a minimalist scripting system, with a graphical editor. Scripts are triggered manually or by environmental conditions. You can create a script to turn on all the lights as soon as the Sun is not visible anymore, or retract all solar panels as soon as you enter an atmosphere.


The UI provided by this mod took more than 5 minutes to write. A planner UI is available in the editor, to help the user design around all the new mechanics introduced. The planner analysis include resource estimates, habitat informations, redundancy analysis, connectivity simulation, multi-environment radiation details and more. To monitor the status of vessels, the monitor UI is also provided. This look like a simple list of vessels at first, but just click on it to discover an ingenuous little organizer that allow to watch vessel telemetry, control components, create scripts, manage your science data including transmission and analysis, and configure the alerts per-vessel.


Most stock modules and some third-party ones are emulated for what concerns the mechanics introduced by the mod. The level of support depend on the specific module, and may include: simulation of resource consumption and production in unloaded vessels, fixing of timewarp issues in loaded vessels, the ability to disable the module after malfunctions, and the means to start and stop the module in an automation script.


Most mods work together with this one, others don't. Such is life. For a non-exaustive list of supported mods have a look inside the Support folder. Some of the interactions deserve a special mention:

SCANsat: - sensors consume EC in background and their cost is evalued by the planner EC - sensors are shut down and restarted in background depending on EC availability

DeepFreeze: - all rules are suspended for hibernated Kerbals - the vessel info window show frozen Kerbals with a different color

NearFuture: - curved solar panels, reactors, fission generators and RTGs produce EC in background and are considered by the planner

PlanetaryBaseSystem: - the coverters will work in background and are considered by the planner

OrbitalScience: - experiments data size has been tweaked for background data transmission

OPM/RSS/NewHorizons: - custom radiation definitions for these planet packs are provided


This project wouldn't have been possible without the contributions of an awesome community of people, too many to mention individually. Thanks guys.

And special thanks to the artists that provided all the part:

  • mehka: gravity ring
  • Nazari1382: geiger counter, small supply container
  • tygoo7: medium and big supply containers, radial pressurized container
  • zzz: greenhouse, active shield


I think to have found a bug, and I have just a few mods installed

Try to reproduce it consistently, then provide me with a savegame that demonstrate the issue. Include log files, screenshots, and reproduction steps. Post the report here, or raise an issue on github.

I want to add support for this to my parts

Add the appropriate modules to your parts. Check the wiki on github for the module specifications.

I want to interact with this mod in code

Have a look at System/API.cs source code on github. Raise an issue to request more functions.


  • KSP 1.2.2
  • ModuleManager 2.7.5+


This mod is released under the Unlicense.


Containers available.

Gravity ring habitat.

Magnetic field rendering

Vessel planne

Vessel monitor

Script editor

Science data manager

Loading changelog...

Stats for Kerbalism

Downloads over time

Downloads per version

New followers per day

Top Referrers


Export Raw Stats

Export Downloads

Export Followers

Export Referrals

Raw stats are from the beginning of time until now. Each follower and download entry represents one hour of data. Uneventful hours are omitted.