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Minmus as seen from orbit.
Moon of Kerbin
Orbital Characteristics
Semi-major axis 47 000 000 m [Note 1]
Apoapsis 47 000 000 m [Note 1]
Periapsis 47 000 000 m [Note 1]
Orbital eccentricity 0
Orbital inclination 6 °
Argument of periapsis 38 °
Longitude of the ascending node 78 °
Mean anomaly 0.9 rad (at 0s UT)
Sidereal orbital period 1 077 311 s
49 d 5 h 15 m 10.8 s
Synodic orbital period 1220132 s
Orbital Velocity 274.1 m/s
Longest Time Eclipsed 4378 s
Physical Characteristics
Equatorial radius 60 000 m
Equatorial Circumference 376 991 m
Surface area 4.5238934×1010 m2
Mass 2.6457580×1019 kg
Standard gravitational parameter 1.7658000×109 m3/s2
Density 29 242.046 kg/m3
Surface gravity 0.491 m/s2 (0.05 g)
Escape velocity 242.61 m/s
Sidereal rotation period 40 400.000 s
1 d 5 h 13 m 20 s
Sidereal rotational velocity 9.3315 m/s
Synchronous orbit 357.94 km
Sphere of influence 2 247 428.8 m[Note 1]
Atmospheric Characteristics
Atmosphere present × No
Scientific multiplier
Surface 5
Near space 4
Outer space 2.5

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The distances are given from the bodies center not surface (unlike ingame)

Minmus is the smallest moon of Kerbin. From the surface of Kerbin or the Mun, it is a cyan speck one or two pixels wide which appears to slightly oscillate vertically. This is a result of viewing its rotation from afar. Up close, it is off white in appearance with what seem to be icy buttes, large hills, and frozen lakes. The highest areas are over 5.7 km in altitude. It requires somewhat more delta-v to reach Minmus orbit than Mun orbit; however, given it's very small gravity, it requires much less to land on the surface and return. This makes Minmus a primary source of Science in the early game after achieving an orbit of Kerbin.

There is a tutorial about traveling to Minmus.

In-game Description

Minmus is the smallest moon orbiting Kerbin. From the surface of Kerbin, it can be seen on clear days as a tiny blue speck in the sky.

It is often mistaken as dirt on telescope lenses or dead pixels, but the top minds at the Kerbal Astronomical Society assure us it is a real moon nevertheless.''

Kerbal Astronomical Society

Orbital characteristics

Minmus orbits Kerbin at a continuous altitude of 46,400,000 meters and takes approximately 920 m/s Δv to transfer to from low Kerbin orbit. The synodic period from Kerbin's surface is 14 days, 3 hours and 1 second (1,220,401 seconds). A synchronous orbit around Minmus is possible at an altitude of 357.94 km. The orbital speed around Minmus for an object with an altitude of 0 m is 171.5 m/s.

It is important to be careful when attempting to return to Kerbin from Minmus, as Minmus' high orbit makes it very easy to escape Kerbin's sphere of influence entirely. However, this means that a base on or in orbit around Minmus would make a convenient refueling station for vessels leaving the Kerbin system.

An efficient way to return to a lower Kerbin orbit from Minmus is to use a gravity assist around Mun. Plan the maneuver carefully, though, as one gravity assist will send a vessel into a lower energy orbit around Kerbin, but another can send the vessel along an escape trajectory!

Surface Temperature

Calculation of the expected surface temperature for Minmus, using received energy from Kerbol, with the Stefan-Boltzmann Law for the radiated power gives a temperature of -50 degrees Celsius. Whilst this is lower than the measured value, it lends support to the theory that Minmus is a captured comet. It could not have formed at its present location but has an albedo high enough to prevent catastrophic sublimation of its icy composition. A high salt content, if present, would also slow the sublimation process.

This value of temperature was calculated using: An emissivity of 0.9 (close to but lower than compacted ice), an albedo of 0.6 (close to but lower than the real ice moon Europa), and the luminosity of 3 yottawatts for Kerbol. If the same calculation is performed for Kerbin with typical Earth values of emissivity and albedo, a temperature of positive 15 degrees Celsius is obtained.


Minmus has very divergent elevations. Plateaus at around 5 km high are matched by "Flats" at datum altitude (0 m). Much of the surface is transitional lowlands and highlands. With version 0.23, there are now 9 biomes.

The various "Flats" are almost perfectly flat and believed to have once been the site of liquid lakes. Minmus also has some mesas, one of which is near Minmus's north pole, that are so high compared to Minmus' sphere of influence that they count as "in orbit" according to the navigation tools. Unless the player manually switches the navball to Surface mode, this makes landing on these plateaus challenging, as the direction marker and speed will not automatically correct for the rotation of the surface.

For most landings which are not on a plateau or in a lake, the touchdown altitude is usually between 2000 m and 2500 m.

Jumping on this moon will make the kerbonaut ascend 10.4 m from the ground.

Taking a Surface Sample from Minmus says that it is a "crystalline substance, definitely not edible".


Minmus biome map

Minmus has a total of 9 biomes. The most distinctive quality of Minmus's biomes is the variety of Flats, which in-game text describe as “lake beds”. They are almost perfectly flat and may represent salt flats. Roughly two-thirds of the surface area is irregular terrain transitioning between Highlands, Midlands, and Lowlands with Slopes in-between.

Biome list

Minmus biome map as of 1.2
  • Poles
  • Lowlands
  • Midlands
  • Highlands
  • Slopes
  • Flats
  • Lesser Flats
  • Great Flats
  • Greater Flats


Although the science-multipliers of Minmus's surface and orbit are quite low compared to that of other planets and moons (but a little higher than Mun), Minmus is comparably easy to reach and to return from and has a very large number of biomes which all yield different science results. Unlike Mun, Minmus's biomes are easily discernable by eye, making it easier to run over all biomes without using ScanSat or other similar mods. A relatively small 1.25m lander using LV-909s can reach Minmus, hop over all biomes and return to Kerbin on one run. This makes it – together with Mun – the main source of science points during the midgame.

Reference Frames

Rotational/Inertial transition 100 000 m
Warp Minimum Altitude
5× 3 000 m
10× 3 000 m
50× 6 000 m
100× 12 000 m
1 000× 24 000 m
10 000× 48 000 m
100 000× 60 000 m


Spoiler: Spoiler image


  • The name "Minmus" may be derived from the Latin word “minimus”, which denotes the smallest member of a group of beings or creatures, and is also the medical name for the smallest digit on the hand or foot. Minmus is the smallest member of the Kerbin system.
  • It's also possible that Minmus is named after Saturn's moon Mimas.
  • It's been speculated that Minmus was inspired by Haruki Murakami's book 1Q84, in which the protagonist discovers she is in an alternate-reality in part by noticing a tiny, moss-green moon in the sky next to the moon she knows.[1][2]
  • It is possible to deorbit, land and ascend back into orbit around Minmus with the EVA jetpack starting at 100% fuel.
  • If 2HOT Thermometer is used on surface, it shows a temperature of -0.007, which is just enough for water to freeze.
  • If SC-9001 Science Jr. is used near or on Minmus in career mode, it will state that its test samples start to glow due to radiation. This might cause Minmus to have a higher temperature than Mun.
  • Most, if not all, crew reports and EVA reports along with other experiments, may mention something about Minmus looking like a minty dessert. This may be a reference to the colour “Magic Mint” made by the Crayola company in 1990, and the colour itself looks almost exactly like that of Minmus's surface. This relation may be intentional; however, it may just be a coincidence.
  • Minmus is large enough that, if it orbited the Sun, it would be considered a planet or a dwarf planet. If you make Minmus 10 times larger but with the same surface gravity (i.e. you make it Real Solar System sized) Minmus is both larger and denser than the Saturnian moon Mimas, which is the smallest object in the solar system known to be spherical due to hydrostatic equilibrium (its gravity makes it spherical). The criteria for an object being a planet is 1) it must orbit the sun, 2) it must have cleared its orbit, 3) it must be in hydrostatic equilibrium. Dwarf planets disregard the second criterion. If Minmus orbited the sun, it would satisfy at least two of those criteria.
  • Minmus, Gilly, and Pol are the only bodies in the solar system that are completely procedurally generated.
  • Solar System creator NovaSilisko had suggested that Minmus was an ancient comet that had become captured into Kerbin orbit.


  • Biomes added.
  • Minmus is no longer tidally locked to Kerbin.[3]
  • Minmus' mass reduced.[4]
  • Synchronous orbit is now possible. Previously, it would have required an altitude of 4 302.99 km, outside Minmus' sphere of influence.
  • Initial release

See also