The easiest way to build a space station in low Kerbal orbit is to
- build it in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB),
- break it apart and save the modules as subassemblies,
- launch the modules individually,
- dock them together in orbit.
Build the space station
You can build the space station yourself, or load one from Steam.
Using a pre-built space station
I have run into stability issues with the KSS space station. When a few modules have been assembled, it started to wave side by side. I think the issue is, that the heavy fuel tanks are at the edges, and the center is hollow crew modules. Also, the docking ports don’t provide enough rigidity to the structure. If you want to use it
- Subscribe to the space station of your choice on Steam
- Load the KSS space station from Steam
- Label the modules
- Save the modules as subassemblies (see Spacecraft building in Kerbal Space Program )
Build your own space station
To make the station more robust, I use the Rockomax Adapter where the Clamp-O-Tron Docking Port Sr. is too big by itself to connect to the part, like the Rockomax HubMax Multi Point Connector.
The core at the center of mass should contain the battery, reaction wheels, and control units
|Z-4K Rechargeable Battery Units (4)
|Advanced Reaction Wheel Large
|RC-L01 Remote Guidance Unit
|OX-STAT-XL Photovoltaic Panels
Use the Advanced Inline Stabilizer off the center of mass to assist in attitude control.
The Clamp-O-Tron Docking Port Sr. provides a very strong connection between large-diameter modules. If a smaller port is used between modules, reinforce it with a Rockomax Brand Adapter 02 and 4 Clamp-O-Tron Docking Port Jrs. attached with girders.
The MK1 Crew Cabin, and the MK3 Passenger Module provide comfortable accommodation, but those have smaller diameters. If you are looking for a large-diameter module with windows, use the Mobile Processing Lab MPL-LG-2
To provide enough fuel for docking vessels, use the
- Rockomax X200-32 large diameter, FL-T800 medium diameter long fuel tank for liquid fuel storage
- FL-R120 and FL-R750 RCS Fuel Tank for monopropellant
- PB-X750 Xenon Container for the IX-6315 “Dawn” Electric Propulsion System ( ion engine)
If the space station contains a Cupola
The Cupola can host one astronaut.
Launching the Cupola with a booster equipped with a Probe Core
When you launch the Cupola, place an astronaut in the cupola. Make sure the front of the Cupola and the Probe Core faces the same way, otherwise, the booster becomes uncontrollable, as the Cupola and the Probe Core will issue conflicting commands to the engines, the Reaction Wheel Module, and the RCS.
- Rotate the Cupola, so the hatch is facing you (West) in the VAB.
- Rotate the Probe Core, so the label is facing the same way (West in the VAB).
- If the cupola is upside down, right-click the Cupola to open the menu, and click the Control Point button until it shows Reversed.
Controlling the space station from the Cupola
To control the space station from the Cupola set the control point correctly.
- Right-click the Cupola
- In the panel click the Control Point button until it shows Forward.
Great videos on space station construction