I'm a beginner player of KSP, and I just recently have put my first crew of kerbals in orbit. I used what could be described as a space shuttle rip off, launches vertically, but the actual shuttle is mounted on top of what can be called an Atlas V rip-off, and now I say "What's next? THE MUN OF COURSE!"
I wouldn't send my beloved Jebidiah on such a dangerous mission though! I'll use a robotic mission to see what I'm dealing with first.

My goals, I want to first send a spacecraft to the mun to intentionally hard crash into it, to demonstrate my ability to reach it, then I want to send on orbiter spacecraft, finally, I'll send a lander to the surface. (All will be robotic.)

But my question is: what is the absolute easiest way to reach the Mun?

  • 3
    "Reach the Mun" is a rather vague requirement. Are you trying for a flyby, an orbit, a landing? Do you need to be able to return to Kerbin afterwards?
    – Mark
    Dec 10, 2022 at 3:40
  • @Mark the question stated that I would try a robotic mission first, no return is required. Dec 12, 2022 at 16:10
  • "Return" is only part of the equation. Different missions require very different amounts of fuel, a flyby requiring the least while a soft landing requires the most. A crash-landing is more difficult than it sounds: NASA failed twice with Ranger probes to the Moon.
    – Mark
    Dec 13, 2022 at 0:33

1 Answer 1


A simple low-tech way to get to the Mun is to:

  1. launch into a low equatorial orbit around Kerbin,
  2. wait until the Mun rises over Kerbin's horizon, and
  3. burn prograde until your apoapsis roughly matches the Mun's altitude above Kerbin (11 400 km).

This will work even in Career mode with no building upgrades unlocked (i.e. without maneuver nodes or trajectory planning), and should normally be enough to get you into the Mun's SOI. Once you're there (or before, if you have trajectory planning unlocked), you can then maneuver your craft into orbit or even attempt a landing.

(The reason this trick works has to do with orbital mechanics, and the fact that a highly elliptical orbit, like your transfer orbit from Kerbin to the Mun, has about half the period of a circular orbit with the same apoapsis, like the Mun's own orbit around Kerbin. So in the time it takes for your craft to get from Kerbin to the Mun's orbit, the Mun itself has moved about a quarter of a full orbit around Kerbin. So, for the Mun to be there when your craft reaches its apoapsis, that apoapsis has to be about 90° ahead of where the Mun currently is when you do your transfer burn. And since your apoapsis will be on the opposite side of Kerbin from the point where you do the burn, that point needs to be about 90° behind the Mun. And that means that the time to burn is just about right when the Mun rises on the eastern horizon.)

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