Mun Landing with Children aged 3-10 in Kerbal Space Program

Computer Spiele
Mun Landing with Children aged 3-10 in Kerbal Space Program

Have you ever considered landing on the Mun in Kerbal Space Program (KSP) with a group of children, ages 4 to 10, playing it as a multiplayer game? It’s not only possible but incredibly fun. In this post, I’ll show you how.

This post is in English because I had the honor of meeting Nate Simpson at Space Creator Day 2023 Space Creator Day, and I promised to demonstrate how I play KSP with children aged 4-10 using external controllers. Although I currently use Kerbal Space Program 1, I’m seriously considering moving to KSP2 after Nate’s exciting announcement of the new update KSP2 Update.

Most of you know me as “Raketenmann” because I organize events at school and kindergarten using the game Kerbal Space Program KSP. KSP is one of the best ways to spark children’s interest in technology and rocket science. Many parents ask me, “Isn’t this game too complicated?” or “How can I play this with a Kindergarten child who doesn’t even know numbers?”

Photo mit der Raketenmann und Nate Simpson

It’s not only possible, but it’s not difficult. The best feeling is when I manage to land a Mun rocket with 10 children, each controlling an aspect of the rocket. Let me show you how.

What You Need

These are non affiliate links, you can buy these components in any other shop.

  • A MakeyMakey board MakeyMakey.
    This is a small simple printed circuit board that emulates a computer keyboard. You can hook it up using a usb cable. By connecting objects like bananas, clay or even draw on a paper with graphite or use wood, children can create unique controllers.

  • A big red button for staging (https://amzn.eu/d/3kMFIN1)

    Boy controlling the rocket with a big red button

  • A pencil with a high amount of graphite for the paper

  • Pieces of wood and nails. To connect the wooden controller use a Copper Foil like this: (https://amzn.eu/d/9DZrah4)

Holz Steuerpult
Clay and the MakeyMakey controller

And as the last thing I am using the mod Telemachus using the Houston UI. Telemachus is a KSP mod that provides real-time telemetry and data tracking for spacecraft during missions. You can download and install it easily using CKAN a mod manager for KSP. It will setup an automatic webserver and all you need is a tablet or another computer with a browser. There all the flight data will be shown.

The Experience

The kids develop their own controllers, and I connect everything to the MakeyMakey. I group the children and give them tasks, similar to how the Apollo flight controller room was set up Apollo Flight Controller Room:

Telemetry and Navigation (TELMU)
Number of children: 1-3
Task: Giving the data height, fuel, speed over the tablet/computer to the rest of the group. They can also turn off the SAS (stable control of the rocket) using the Houston UI, setting prograder, retrograde autopilot function.
Age: >7

Guidance officers (GUDO)
Number of children: 1
Task: Switching from Map view to flight
Number of children: 1-3 children
Age: >3

Electrical and Environmental and Communications (EECOM)
Number of children: 1-3
Task: Turn on lights, release solar panel, landing legs
Age: >3

Booster Systems Engineer (BOOSTER)
Number of children: 1
Task: Staging using the big red button. Another child controls the thrusters using the HOTA
Number of children: 1-2
Age: >3

MakeyMakey with a cover

Retrofire Officer (RETRO)
Task: Managing the stage lock, abort button, parachute opening
Number of children: 1-3
Age: >3

Flight Dynamics Officer (FDO)
Task: Controlling the waypoints on the map using a mouse
Number of children: 1
Age: >8

Flight Dynamics Officer (FDO)
Task: Controlling the waypoints on the map using a mouse
Number of children: 1
Age: >8

Astronaut
Task: Controls the space craft using the joystick
Number of children: 1
Age: >8

I oversee the mission as the director and manage communication. A Mun landing takes about an hour, and it’s an incredible feeling when we succeed. After a successful landing, we usually build a water rocket and launch it from a field.

Water rocket start with children

If you enjoyed this blog and want to see a video of the preparation or a guide on how to enhance your MakeyMakey with a 3D priner case (designed by bsurfn99 on Thingiverse) Reach out to me on Instagram, Facebook, or through the contact form on my website

MakeyMakey with a cover

Stay on course, your

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