KerbalEdu Mission Library

Orbits and Docking - TG Desk -

Ages 12-16
Published by Rami5MM  •  Posted 942 days ago
Jebehdah has forgotten his snacks on Kerbin and now he needs to perform a rendevouz in a orbit or spend rest of the space flight without snacks.
Physics - orbital mechanics
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Mission Details and Requirements
Created by: Rami Sihvo
Mission version: 1.2
Supported KerbalEdu Versions: 1.3.1e859
Mission Type: Puzzle
Tags: orbital mechanics, docking, rendevouz, Newton's Second Law


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Orbits and Docking -TG Desk-.sfs


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Learning orbital dynamics and rendevouz with orbital objects!

For Teacher guide please download the pdf file.

Students will be able to:

  • What is Newton’s Second Law,
  • How to make Kerbal maneuver nodes,
  • How to perform rendezvous maneuver with an orbital object,
  • How to dock in KerbalEDU.

Timeline: The lesson plan is designed to span a 60-minute lesson.

Materials: KerbalEDU installed on the student computers, lesson plan. “Orbits and Docking” mission from KerbalEDU mission library. Some keyboard maps printed for students.


KerbalEDU doesn’t support multiplayer. However, students can share computers so pairing can be used in this lesson.


This lesson works as an introduction to the Newton’s Second Law of Motion. It provides structured scenario with clear goals and learning targets for students. The scenario is aimed for students who have some experience of Kerbal EDU, and it tests their creativity. 


-Please note that in Kerbal 1.22 there is a bug with the KSC building upgrade information being missing from save file. If the orbital track is grey and it is not possible to make orbital nodes, either use KerbalEDU event "Revert to start" or exit for EVA and return back to capsule. This should add building upgrade information to save and allow orbital node editing.


Next Generation Science Standards

MS-PS2-1 Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
MS-PS2-2 Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
MS-PS3-2 Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system.
MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well
they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
MS-ETS1-3 Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design
solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new
solution to better meet the criteria for success.
HS-PS2-1 Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the
mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
HS-PS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.