Launch to orbit around Kerbin
Match the target planet’s inclination
While still in Kerbin orbit, match the plane of the target planet’s orbit.
- Click the planet and click Set as Target
- Use the Ascending and Descending nodes to match the inclination, see Match the inclination of the target
As the Mun’s orbital plane is parallel to the equator of Kerbin, launch the vessel Due East (90°) with 0 ° inclination.
We will stretch our orbit to reach the Mun’s sphere of influence.
- Click the Mun and select Focus View to keep the Mun in the center of the screen
- Right-click the Mun Periapsis to keep the value displayed
- Using the prograde vector and moving the maneuver, plan an orbit to set the Mun Periapsis to around 10 – 15 km
- The planning is done at the current Mun location, but the real encounter will happen at another location further down the orbital path of Mun.
- Start the burn and stop early before your orbit reaches the orbit of the Mun. Delete the maneuver to see the real values on the map. Continue the burn with the low throttle, and when the Mun periapsis node appears on the map, stop the slow burn, and right-click it to keep the value displayed.
- Continue the low throttle burn to fine-tune the orbit, and watch the number of the Mun periapsis to stop at the planned value.
- Create a maneuver at the periapsis, and use the retrograde vector to slow down, and bring the apoapsis closer to the Mun for a circular orbit.
- Warp ahead to the maneuver and execute the burn. Fine-tune it to reach the planned apoapsis.
Landing on the Mun
To land on the Mun, create a maneuver with a negative periapsis to hit the surface a few kms further away, so you can slow down and start a steeper approach to avoid hills.
- Place the lander in a 15 km circular orbit
- Create a maneuver with a retrograde burn to set a -60 km periapsis
- Move the maneuver to hit the ground a few miles further downrange with three clicks on the right side maneuver time mover button
- Adjust the latitude with the Normal and Antinormal vectors
- After the deorbiting burn, set the SAS to retrograde to be able to slow down the craft with the main engines. If the throttle is too sensitive, set the Thrust limiter to a lower number
- Use the Altitude above terrain of the Surface panel in the Kerbal Engineering Redoux mod to avoid hitting the ground too early
- Keep the vertical speed below 12 m/s to protect the landing legs.
To escape the Mun’s sphere of influence, and return to Kerbin, we need to increase the apoapsis retrograde relative to Kerbin.
- Create a maneuver on the prograde side of the Mun, to increase the apoapsis with a prograde burn until Mun Escape is displayed.
- At this point the Kerbin periapsis is usually still too high for re-entry.
- Right-click the Kerbin Periapsis to keep it displayed, adjust the time of the maneuver to minimize the Kerbin periapsis, and adjust the prograde vector to set the periapsis to around 35 km.
- During the burn, the actual Kerbin periapsis will appear and display the changing value. With low throttle continue the burn until the Kerbin periapsis reaches 35 km height.