Campaign: Joolileo

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Dunar Exploration Rovers Campaigns Space Telescopes


With the completion of the Kerbal Space Station, a permanent forward base for space travel, the Kerbal Space Program once again turned its attention to the exploration of the Kerbol system. This time, Kerbal scientists wanted the Jool system mapped and its scientific information properly recorded. So a large probe was constructed to explore Jool and its moons, with another small probe to discover just what was beneath the gas planet's green clouds, seeing as many Kerbals wanted to know if they could live there.


  • Length: 3-6 hours
  • Difficulty: 8/10 (Expert)
  • Skills Needed:
  1. Expert navigation via maneuver node
  2. Advanced orbiting
  3. Intermediate understanding of interplanetary launch windows (phase angles)
  4. Expert probe design
  5. Advanced fuel efficiency
  6. Ability to complete Kerbol System Exploration
  • For Version: Every Version Post-0.18 (tested on 0.23)

Recommended Mods


Joolileo Probe

  • Construct the main Joolileo probe that will orbit Jool and perform flybys of its moons Laythe, Vall and Tylo.
  1. Probe must contain at least four scientific experiments
  2. Probe must contain at least two Communotron 16 antennas and at least one other dish antenna
  3. Probe must contain two electric generators and must have at least a 2000 electrical storage capacity
  4. Probe must contain RCS (at least 200)
  • Designing the probe is the hardest part of the campaign. It must be large enough for interplanetary travel, while at the same time must be able to be launched by a space shuttle. Remember to use an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) and launch the probe on Space Shuttle Atlantis, if using the modded approach (it can't be a Centaur upper stage; it was deemed unsafe after the Challenger disaster). Also, if using the modded approach, the US Probes pack includes Galileo, meaning you can pretty much skip this stop.

Jool Descent Probe

  • Construct a smaller probe that will be attached to the main Joolileo probe and will descend into Jool's atmosphere
  1. Probe must carry at least three scientific experiments, including a GRAVMAX Negative Gravioli Detector, a 2HOT Thermometer and a PresMat Barometer
  2. Probe must carry at least one parachute
  3. Probe must be able to detach from main probe and adjust its orbit to enter Jool's atmosphere, where it must successfully deploy its parachute(s)
  4. Probe must make it below 75,000 m without losing any parts except as intended

Joolileo Launch

  • Have a space shuttle launch Joolileo into a Kerbin escape trajectory, and then have it fly to Jool
  1. Probe must be launched into a Kerbin escape trajectory by a space shuttle
  2. Probe must make a flyby of Eve, using it as a planetary slingshot

(Tip: Make sure that the Joolileo probe has sufficient fuel and thrust to make the voyage from Kerbin to Jool, with fuel left over for orbital maneuvers within the Joolian system. This may require a middle booster stage, depending on what the actual probe is like).

Joolian System Exploration Part 1: Flybys

  • Have Joolileo orbit and flyby Jool and its moons
  1. Joolileo must circularize at 1,000,000 m above Jool, with no more than a 45 degree orbital inclination
  2. Descent probe must then be separated from Joolileo and sent down to Jool
  3. Joolileo must increase its orbit and perform a flyby within 500,000 m of Laythe
  4. Probe must perform a flyby within 500,000 m of Vall
  5. Probe must perform a flyby within 500,000 m of Tylo
  6. Probe must do at least one of the following:
  • Perform a flyby of Bop within 300,000 m
  • Perform a flyby of Pol within 300,000 m
  • Achieve an orbit where both objects are clearly visible

Joolian System Exploration Part 2: Orbiting

  1. Probe must perform a second flyby of Vall, within 200,000 m
  2. Probe must circularize an orbit around Laythe at 1,000,000 m and complete three orbits
  3. Probe must decrease its orbit to within 200,000 m, and complete ten orbits
  4. Probe must then circularize at 325,000 m above Jool, with at least a ten degree inclination
  5. After surveying and mapping Jool and its moons, the Joolileo probe had completed its mission. Intense radiation from the gas giant had rendered some of the probe's systems useless, and being contaminated with bacteria because somebody (who is now unemployed) didn't wash their hands or wear the required clothing, there was the threat of it eventually crashing into Laythe and spreading the microorganisms. Two options are now available for the probe:
  • Crash it into Jool in the equatorial belt (after transmitting its data, of course)
  • Circularize its orbit at 1,000,000 m and classify it as debris (nobody really cares about Laythe anyway, right?)

Joolo Probe

Send a large science probe into an eccentric Jool orbit.

  • Include: large probe body, 3 large solar arrays or solar panels attached to structural panels, an instrument (magnetometer) on the end of an I-beam, a small amount of thrust, a narrow band scanner
  1. Approach Jool and perform an insertion burn at 300±50 km periapsis (altitude) and 600±50 Mm apoapsis. Avoid orbiting in-plane with Jool's moons so they don't affect your orbit, i.e. make an inclined orbit.
  2. [Optional] Approach Jool from above or below for a polar orbit.
  3. [Optional] Set the apoapsis so that the period is near a multiple of Jool's rotational period (1 day, 4 hrs) so you fly by a different part of Jool each time, essentially scanning the entire surface by the end of the mission.
  4. [Optional] Burn at approach #2 to reduce apoapsis to 200±50 Mm for more frequent approaches.
  5. At the end of the mission, reduce the periapsis to burn up in Jool's atmosphere.

Finishing Word

The Joolileo probe had successfully mapped and collected data from the Jool system. The descent probe had also proved that Jool would not be a very good place for Kerbals to live, although that subject is still being debated. The green planet and its moons were now somewhat understood by KSP scientists, and no further missions were currently needed to further explore it. The Kerbal Space Program now turned its head to discovering what was beyond the Kerbol system, and began constructing space telescopes.