I'm having a very hard time to fulfill the Orbit Kerbin contract.

I already saw a dozen videos of people explaining how to orbit and saw another billion texts. The problem is, when I'm in orbit, there is nothing that lets me click on the current orbit to adjust it, like "Add Maneuver". It keeps a gray line (not blue like I saw in the videos) and that's all.

Am I missing something?

Note, this question is NOT about how to enable "Add maneuver". It is about how to Orbit Kerbin. Add Maneuver is something I was told that facilitate the process.

  • 2
    The question was marked as duplicated because of the Add Maneuver part. This question is not about the Add maneuver. It is about Orbiting Kerbin. The "Add maneuver" options is just a noteI added to the question to explain about things I saw in the youtube videos.
    – vianna77
    Oct 16, 2015 at 15:08
  • Okay, so then you need to tell us more about the actual problem you're having. So far, you're just talking about the maneuver nodes, so that's what we're trying to help with. If that's not it, we need more info about what's not working.
    – Frank
    Oct 16, 2015 at 22:14
  • What you saw in the youtube videos is directly related to your inability to add manoeuvre nodes, hence why your question was closed as dupe. In order for you to see what you saw, you need to upgrade some facilities.
    – MBraedley
    Oct 16, 2015 at 22:21
  • Since you answered “I just read in a tutorial that "Add Maneuver" is just available in Career mode after some upgrades. So, I guess it solves the question.”, naturally we have concluded that your question is about unlocking the Add Maneuver option (and therefore a duplicate). If your own answer doesn't actually solve the problem, it will take some explaining why. Oct 18, 2015 at 19:21
  • @sevensideddie , if you just read the title and my answer, you will see that I'm clearly misguided by the tutorials (where nobody mention anything about upgrading structures) and that is a obvious question of somebody who just started playing the game. On the other hand, people like Coomie and Sergii Zaskaleta, who read my entire question, understood my issue and could see beyond the "add maneuver" piece of text. But that was a bigger lesson for me! I will elaborate MUCH MUCH better my questions because I see people here feel very happy to bash new users.
    – vianna77
    Oct 19, 2015 at 16:11

2 Answers 2


Getting into orbit should be easy, you shouldn't even need maneuver nodes to get to orbit. There's really only 2 steps:

  1. Get your apoapsis (the highest part of your orbit) into space (on Kerbin, that's 70,000 meters -70km). You can do that by pointing your engine exhaust at the ground and burning your fuel.
  2. Once you get your apoapsis into space you want to burn to the east.

By "east" I mean a heading of 90 degrees (the big 90 on the navball, the HDG should read 90) and 0 degrees pitch (that's the line in between the blue -sky- and brown -ground- on the navball).

You'll probably find it easier to do perform launches from map mode (press the ^ at the bottom of screen to bring up the navball), that way you can see the apoapsis going up and east.

Pro tips:

  • Don't wait until you get to space to burn east, by the time you get above 30,000 meters you should be only burning east and not up.
  • If your rocket is unstable add fins at the bottom (adding fins above the center of gravity will make you fly backwards and that's not good)
  • If you want your rocket to be controlable add control surfaces like fins, gimballing engines, reaction control wheels (which are in capsules and SAS modules) and RCS.
  • Use liquid fuel (which is throttle-able). Using solid rockets to get to orbit is hard. A combination of both is good though.
  • Have a powerful rocket all the way up. Having twice as much thrust as weight(TWR) is a good rule of thumb until your orbital.
  • Drop stages, there's no point taking 20 tons into space when 5 tons is all you need. Your last stage should be much smaller and this will help your TWR.
  • Burning prograde (thats the yellow -0-) will bring up your periapsis.
  • A periapsis over 70km means you're in orbit.
  • Burning close to your apoapsis will bring up your periapsis faster.
  • Burning prograde at 30,000 with apoapsis above 70,000 will bring the apoapsis way, way up and may not move the periapsis significantly. When your apoapsis is above 70km, aim east at about -10 degrees (one notch below horizon) instead and about all of your propulsion will go towards bringing periapsis up, barely moving the apoapsis.
    – SF.
    Oct 16, 2015 at 13:20
  • @SF I've given a highly simplified version of how to get orbital, it isn't perfect and it's not the most efficient, but it should be easy to do for a first timer. Obviously, the most efficient way to burn prograde at apoapsis, but without maneuver nodes and patched conics that's going to be hard to estimate.
    – Coomie
    Oct 19, 2015 at 5:30
  • If you have enough thrust, then "prograde at apoapsis" is the answer. But on 30th kilometer of the climb, and still 40km of apoapsis, prograde direction is waaay off. It's much better to use "elevation zero" as the reference point (and adjust it just a little down for optimal) - prograde will be still good 30 degrees up, not even close to optimal course.
    – SF.
    Oct 19, 2015 at 7:17

To enable adding 'maneuver nodes' you need to upgrade the Tracking station once and to upgrade Mission Control building once. After that you will be able to right-click on your orbit in map view and add maneuver nodes.

  • Thanks! I learned that I had to update some buildings, but I didn't know which ones!
    – vianna77
    Oct 16, 2015 at 7:25

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