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teroctador

Return to Kerbin from polar orbit of Mun

Question

I'm in a situation. I sent a space station with a small lander to the Mun, and realized it would be easy to put it into a polar orbit. That way, I could end up above every biome on the Mun. Now I have a contract that says to bring a Kerbal back from orbit of the Mun. Cool.

On any equatorial orbit, my lander would have plenty of dV to get back into a decent orbit of Kerbin. BUT I can't figure out how to exit a polar orbit without using so much thrust that I'm in a ridiculous orbit on exit. So, the question: what is the most efficient way to exit a polar orbit of the Mun, given that I can wait any amount of time for the Mun to change position around Kerbal?

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Actually, you'll want to burn at about 30 degrees latitude, over the pole is too late.  Your ejection should be roughly Mun-retrograde, but your path will be curved around, of course.

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Hello, and welcome to the forums!  :)

1 hour ago, teroctador said:

So, the question: what is the most efficient way to exit a polar orbit of the Mun, given that I can wait any amount of time for the Mun to change position around Kerbal?

(Obligatory nit:  the planet's name is Kerbin, not Kerbal.)  :wink:

Just to be clear, you're already in the polar orbit of the Mun, and you simply want to go home to Kerbin without needing to rendezvous with anything else, right?

In that case, it's pretty straightforward.  Just wait until the Mun has orbited to the point where the plane of your polar orbit is perpendicular to the line between Mun and Kerbin.

Then just fire your engines when you're over the Mun's north or south pole, whichever one is where your orbit over the Mun is going in the retrograde direction to the Mun's orbit around Kerbin, so that when you eject from the Mun's SoI you're traveling in the Mun-retrograde direction.

That way, it's basically the same as if you did the maneuver when you were equatorial.  Same deal.

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^ Every half a Munar month, your orbit will be aligned perfectly for an ejection. You just have to wait for it.

 

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1 hour ago, Snark said:

Just to be clear, you're already in the polar orbit of the Mun, and you simply want to go home to Kerbin without needing to rendezvous with anything else, right?

Yes, I'm already in the polar orbit. I'll simply rendezvous with my lander once it's in orbit of Kerbin.

Your solution makes sense, thanks for the quick reply!

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