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Tutorial: Direct-Ascent Mun Landing

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Direct-Ascent Mun Landing Tutorial

It seems unfathomable that anyone would challenge Kerner Vun Braun, Kerbal's greatest rocket scientist. After all, the Kerbal Space Program (KSP) is about power. Brute power. And that power is what Dr. Vun Braun harnessed in earnest.

There was a great debate inside the KSP about the best way to get to the Mun. Two camps had emerged. The proper and correct camp of Dr. Vun Braun and that of the upstart and "finesse-oriented" camp of Jon K. Koubolt.

Dr. Vun Braun advocated a direct approach to the Mun. It was logical and fit with the view of the established KSP management team. A large, powerful booster launching a complete lander with its own propulsion, landing equipment and re-entry pod. It would land on the Mun and launch from its surface to return directly to Kerbin. Then and only then would the spacecraft be separate and the crew capsule return to a successful splashdown.

Dr. Jon K. Koubolt, on the other hand, argued such an approach was risky and wasteful of fuel and resources. He advocated for a docking of two spacecraft in Kerbin orbit. A crew travel and return vehicle and a dedicated lander to go to the Munar surface. Kerbals would transfer to the lander once in Munar orbit, detach from the main spacecraft, descend, land, launch from the Munar surface, dock again in Munar orbit, boost back to Kerbin, undock and finally re-enter the atmosphere for a successful landing. He called this technique "Munar Orbit Rendezvous".

Naturally, the KSP management felt that his was a well-intentioned but lonely voice in the wilderness and saw to it Dr. Koubolt received a well-deserved (and long) vacation.

This tutorial walks you through Dr. Vun Braun's famous Munar landing approach. It shows how the power of KSP components are the best solution to the problem of getting around the Solar System.


  • Length: 2–4 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • For version: Every version


Step 1 - Nova Launch Vehicle

First, we need to assemble the mighty Nova launch vehicle that will send our intrepid Kerbal to the Min.

Step 2 - Finish the weird step

This concludes step 1, the weird step. Hopefully, step 2 isn't as weird as step 1 but still a little weird.

Step 3 - This is no weird?!

Exactly, this isn't any weird at all!

Finishing word

Tada! Now you've read a full tutorial. Congratulations!