Endurance STS - Stock
by SnacklessKerbal
uploaded 2021-03-24
(updated 2021-04-04)
stock+DLC spaceplane
#Shuttle #STS #Crewed #spaceplane #spaceshuttle


The backbone of my agency, the Endurance-Class Space Shuttle has flown over 40 missions in my KSP save. Initially designed in 2019 and progressively upgraded through 5 different block iterations throughout its service, ETS has helped me build space stations, spacecraft, launch interplanetary missions, and of course launch Kerbonauts into space. The shuttle is capable of a maximum of 40 tons to LKO, with a downmass capability of around 20 tons.


  • Type: VAB
  • Class: spaceplane
  • Part Count: 532
  • Pure Stock
  • KSP: 1.11.2


In terms of KSP shuttles, flying this one isn’t too difficult as long as you know what you are doing.


This shuttle features an auto sequencer for launch. Staging for launch is automatically sequenced. When launching, set throttle to maximum and hit space. DO NOT hit space more than once. Hitting space once will begin the auto sequencer. The sequencer will stagger engine ignition to reduce load on the vehicle, followed 2 seconds later by booster ignition and clamp release.

From here launch is conventional, roll the shuttle onto its back so the orbiter faces the planet and the external tank faces space. The SRBs are controlled by a KAL to simulate a thrust curve and will automatically tail off and separate at 107 seconds into the flight.
Once reaching LKO, MECO and separation is triggered by hitting AG2 followed by AG3 activating OMS engines.


Flying the shuttle in orbit is very straightforward as long as you understand how rendezvous works. As for docking, the current orbiter’s RCS currently is not well optimized at all. For docking, it’s recommended to use precision mode (toggled with Caps Lock).


Trajectories mod is heavily recommended for this
Landing the orbiter goes as follows. Perform your deorbit burn until your trajectory is set to be close to KSC. This will vary on your orbit.
After de-orbit, drain your propellant tanks until you have 100 m/s of Dv left and enable your RCS. Do not enable your control surfaces yet. To trim, use the body flap at the rear by deploying it and using the deploy limiter. Hold the shuttle between 20 and 40 degrees angle of attack. Maintain this pitch, and bank the shuttle side to side to control speed and lift.

At 30km altitude, enable pitch with AG8, followed by roll and yaw at 20km with AG9. Aim to be at 10-15km altitude when you fly over KSC. Circle around and follow a 20-30 degree glideslope to runway 27 at KSC, managing speed with the speedbrake. Lower landing gear, touchdown, de-rotate, deploy the chute, and come to a full stop.


  • There is a bug with this specific craft file where placing struts does not work as intended. The work around is to place a temporary part behind where you want to connect your strut and connect to that, the temporary part will be picked up and the strut will be placed on the part you wanted to place it on.
  • Yes the SRBs are overclocked Mastodons, they are controlled by a KAL so they cannot be manually throttled. This allows me to get a realistic thrust and gimbal range that KSP SRBs cannot. (the shuttle’s SSME gimbals were not used at liftoff, only the SRB gimbals were)
  • Yes the SRBS have clipping. This is because I wanted to make it perform realistically. Not necessarily built realistically
  • Yes the side tanks on the ET feed into the SRBs. This is again to get realistic performance at stock scale. If the whole ET was for the orbiter it would have way too much fuel. I got this idea from EJ_SA.

Disclaimer: Pads shown in this screenshot are not included in the craft file

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