Tutorial:Moon landing using mods

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Landing on the Mun is no easy task. With a reasonable gravity well, and no atmosphere, the rocky natural terrain makes a rocky grave for Kerbonauts. This tutorial provides tips on how to land on the Mun using MechJeb.


  • Length: 5–10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • For version: 0.19 and above (tested on 1.0.5)
  • Mods Required: MechJeb


Step 1 - Obtaining MechJeb

Get MechJeb. [1]. MechJeb is an autopilot plugin that allows you get into orbit, and go to the Mun in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

Suggested mods to find include:

  • MechJeb Embedded [2]. This extra mod enables MechJeb on all the command pods.

Step 2 - Building the Mun rocket

Since the Kerbal X is already a very capable rocket, we will use that for our trip to the Mun. However, we must make some additions to allow Jeb to come home.

Add a Rockomax Brand Decoupler beneath the lander's engine. Add a Rockomax Jumbo 64 Fuel Tank, and a RE-I5 "Skipper" Liquid Fuel Engine beneath that.

That should be enough for a round trip.

If you don't have the MechJeb Embedded mod you will need to add a MechJeb AR202 case. If you put it on the lower stages, the upper stages will NOT have MechJeb capability. Therefore, you should put it on the command module.

Step 3 - Launch the rocket using Ascent Autopilot

Open Ascent Guidance from the MechJeb menu.

Make sure the following settings are as listed:

  • Orbit altitude should be 80 km.
  • Corrective steering is checked.
  • Autostage is checked (do not check if you are unsure of the staging setup).
  • Auto-warp is checked.
  • Prevent overheats is checked.

Press Engage autopilot and hit the space bar to launch.

Step 3 - Going to the Mun

  • After you have a stable orbit, close Ascent Guidance and open the Maneuver Planner from the MechJeb menu.
  • Go to the map view, and set the Mun as your target.
  • In the Maneuver Planner use the arrows to select 'Hohmann transfer to target'. Then, click 'Create and execute'.
  • If you see your landing spot on the Mun or just want to land anywhere, skip to Step 4.
  • After you enter the Mun's Gravity well, wait until you reach your periapsis, then burn retrograde. Cut throttle when it is no longer an escape orbit (this is signified by the prescence of an apoapsis).

You are now in the Mun's sphere of influence. Close Maneuver Planner. Go to step 4 to land on the moon or skip to step 5 to return to Kerbin.

Step 4 - Land on the Mun

  • After you've entered the Mun's sphere of influence, open the Landing Autopilot from the MechJeb menu.
  • Ensure "Deploy Parachutes" is UNchecked.
  • Press Select target on the map and choose where you want to land.
  • Press Land at target. Alternatively, if you just want to land somewhere, press Land somewhere.
  • MechJeb will warp to the deorbit burn point.
  • Warp till 20000m (don't warp more than 3x).
  • Extend the gear once it says executing braking burn.

You have now landed on the Mun. You can now extend the ladder and EVA (optional). Go to step 5 to return to Kerbin.

Step 5 - Return to Kerbin

In Career Mode, this is no longer optional unless you plan on sending a rescue mission.

Open the Ascent Autopilot from the MechJeb menu.

Make sure the following settings are as listed:

  • Orbit altitude should be 30 km.
  • Auto-throttle is checked.
  • Auto-stage is checked (do not check if you are unsure of the staging setup).
  • Auto-warp is checked.

Press Engage autopilot to take off.

After you have achieved a stable orbit around the Mun, pull up the Maneuver Planner again.

  • Cycle through the arrows until you see "Return from a moon" then click "Create and Execute"
  • Once you are back in Kerbin's gravity Well, close the Maneuver Planner and open the Landing Assistant.
  • Ensure "Deploy Parachutes" is CHECKED, unless you want to land retro-rocket style.
  • Depending on how much fuel you have, pick KSC, a landing point, or just "Land Somewhere." You may have to ditch your landing selection somewhere along the line if you run out of fuel.

Finishing words

Flying to Mun is a great achievement and one which all aspire to accomplish. This guide should help you to achieve your goals and begin to look at even more challenging possibilities in Kerbal Space Program!

If you feel you have anything to contribute to this tutorial, please feel free to add, as this is still very short!]