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What is the easiest planet/non-kerbin moon to get to?


Internet_Man
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Posted (edited)

I am playing science mode and I have a ton of parts. Any EZ non-kerbin places to go to?

Specifically I would like a FlyBy of the moon/planet and return.

Edited by Internet_Man
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Posted (edited)

If what you want to do is an easy flyby/return mission, Duna has the very useful feature that a Kerbin-Duna Hohmann transfer orbit also happens to be almost exactly a Kerbin 3:2 resonant orbit. That means you can set it up so that you just graze the Duna/Ike SOI's and then return more or less automatically to Kerbin 2.25 years later, after two orbits all told by your vessel and three by Kerbin.

Edited by herbal space program
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If you just want to fly past a planet without coming back, Eve is the better target- it’s SOI is even bigger than Kerbin’s making it a pretty easy target to get an encounter with, plus it’ll be really close to Kerbin when you arrive so signal strength will be high. Duna is a bit further away and a smaller target, but you can easily get a flyby of Ike during your flyby of Duna to gain double the science. Both planets can give you a gravity assist, Eve giving the bigger nudge as its gravity is much higher, and with a bit of planning you can set yourself up to encounter Kerbin- or go somewhere else, an Eve slingshot can be used to get closer to Moho or Jool depending on how you do it.

Going directly (or even indirectly with an Eve gravity assist) to Moho requires a lot of fuel, Dres is tiny and Eeloo is too far away, ignore them for now.

Despite the distance, Jool is also a good target- it’s quite a bit further away so you’ll need really good communications to get any data from it, but it’s SOI is HUGE and the moons are perfect to get gravity assists, allowing you to capture into orbit of Jool without using any fuel at all if you time your encounters with Laythe and Tylo right. Laythe, Vall and Tylo all orbit Jool in the same orbital plane so if you manage to align your orbit correctly you can get multiple encounters with each moon, or use their gravity to nudge your trajectory towards the outer moons Bop and Pol which orbit in pretty inclined orbits. If you want to leave, the moons can help with that too.

Playing gravity pinball with Jool’s moons isn’t easy, but the rewards can be huge and learning that will make it that much easier when you send a crewed mission to land on all five moons :wink:.

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Eve and Duna are not terribly hard if you're not planning a landing. And if you can fly by Duna, you stand a pretty good chance of passing Ike as well. You will definitely need heat shields if you plan on doing any aerobraking at Eve. 

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duna is also very easy to land on, it has this beautiful atmosphere that's just thick enough to aerobrake and use parachutes, but thin enough to not bother you too much on ascent. In fact, it is cheaper to land on duna than it is to get in mun's orbit. though if you're just looking for a flyby, it won't interest you.

yes, duna and eve are the easiest targets out there. both have a moon, but of them, Ike is easy to target; gilly is out of the way, at high inclination, and very small, so getting a Gilly flyby is hard. I suggest Duna

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Posted (edited)

I would say either Eve or Duna for a beginner at interplanetary missions, and Jool for a more advanced player.

Eve is slightly easier to get to, and it has a moon, Gilly, which is the smallest and easiest body to land on. If you want to grab a lot of science, you could send down a lander or even rest your probe down on the surface no problem. The trouble with Eve and Gilly is that without a large lander, it is practically impossible to return from Eve's surface due to it's gravity and it's atmosphere, and Gilly's orbit makes it tricky to reach for a beginner at interplanetary mechanics, and hard to get a close encounter with on a hyperbolic trajectory.

Duna on the other hand, is also about the same distance from Kerbin as Eve is, and it also has a moon, Ike. Ike is much larger than Gilly is, so most likely you'll need a dedicated lander if you want to land on it in the future. Ike's large size and proximity to Duna makes it easy to swing by if you just want to fly by. Duna also has an atmosphere, but it's thin and Duna is smaller than Kerbin, so if you budget correctly, a Mun lander with parachutes for the descent will actually work as a Duna lander.

Jool, which happens to be the very first planet I visited, is quite a distance away from Kerbin, so if you go there you'll need advanced communications. But it's SOI is gigantic, and it's not too inclined, and doesn't take a huge amount of Delta V, if I remember correctly it's about 2000 m/s to get there, and 1000 m/s to get back. Jool's 5 moons also make it very valuable, a single mission could fly by all the moons and get a significant amount of science.

 

Edited by DunaManiac
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If you're just doing a flyby, I'd definitely choose Eve. Reason: It's very easy to get a free return to Kerbin. Just set your Eve periapsis so that it slings your solar apoapsis nearly out to Duna's orbit, and you'll have a very close encounter to Kerbin on the way back down.

 If you do it right, the entire trip should only cost about 1,100 m/sec DV assuming aerobraking at Kerbin.

Best,

-Slashy

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Gilly. Basically anything that can land on Minmus can land on Gilly.

Gilly has the lowest gravity so you can land and take off with an EVA jet pack.

 

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