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How to go to Minmus without manuver nodes?


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It's pretty easy, actually. You just need to know one (or two) angles. But it depends on whether you want to launch your rocket straight up from the launchpad (which is the easiest way), or whether you want to go into orbit and then eyeball a transfer without a maneuver node.

If you just want to go straight up, then you need to lead Minmus by a minimum of 30 degrees, and a maximum of 45 degrees. This is called a "direct launch", and usually takes a bit more deltaV than going to LKO first. You have to be a little careful that the Mun will not be in the way, because the Mun's gravity can easily mess with your nice vertical path to Minmus. (Note that the Mun will move a significant distance while you travel, so launching straight at the Mun is fine.) So, go into the Tracking Station, arrange the map so that Minmus is a little more than 30 degrees right of vertical, fast forward until KSC is right at the top of Kerbin, and launch. When you launch: lock SAS on, and burn until your Ap reaches Minmus' orbit. When your craft passes the Mun's orbit, look at your projected path and see whether it's above or below Minmus' orbital plane. Then burn either due North or due South until the Ap is exactly on the plane. At that point, you should get an intercept. Once you get most of the way there, if it really looks like you are going to miss -- then you may need to burn a little prograde or retrograde to either get there sooner or later.  Once you are there, close your orbit and then land on a flat somewhere. Expect a travel time of 5 days.

If you put yourself in LKO first then a transfer takes more time. So you need to lead Minmus by about twice the angle -- closer to 60 degrees. Do not bother trying to match planes during your transfer burn. Just do it like the direct launch (above), get your Ap to the right altitude, wait until you pass the Mun -- then burn North or South until your Ap is touching Minmus' orbit, and you should have an intercept. Expect a travel time of 8 to 10 days.

 

Edited by bewing
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