Video: Astronaut Scott Kelly teaches orbital mechanics with Kerbal Space Program
If you’re a frequent Ars reader, you’ve likely heard of Kerbal Space Program, the space flight/space crashing/space explosion simulator that lets you create your own vehicles, then fly them into orbit and perhaps even to other planets. Though silly and fun, KSP also works as a reasonably solid and wonderfully interactive demonstration of the vagaries of orbital mechanics—and that, dear readers, gave us an idea.
Astronaut Scott Kelly is most famous for spending an uncomfortably long time on the International Space Station, and he’s currently touring to promote his book about the experience. We got to talk to him briefly when he was at the office back in October, but I wanted to take things a little further. What if we could sit down with Scott—a real astronaut who has flown the space shuttle and everything—and get him to talk us through a (somewhat realistic, somewhat silly) launch in KSP?