I decided, this evening, to take my lander out of Kerbin orbit and see how close to Mun I’d get until I’d have to terminate the flight and experiment some more. (Maybe I need more thrust on the first stage?)
I lined the ship up, and fired full throttle when Mun appeared over the horizon.
Just as I feared, correcting a very bad orbit, several times, had drained the fuel tanks too much. The second stage ran out of fuel long before the orbit created a Mun encounter. Oh, well.
Then I had an idea.
I ditched the second stage, and fired the lander’s engine.
Taking an idea from
someone’s CasaVoid’s YouTube video, I’d built the lander with an extra-large diameter fuel tank – the Rockomax X200-8, I think – to give the landing legs a wide footprint and, therefore, more stability.
The lander achieved a Mun encounter. Then an orbital maneuver created an orbit. Then a second orbital maneuver created a pretty much circular orbit. Then a third orbital maneuver created a smaller orbit. And my orbiter still has plenty of fuel.
It wasn’t how I’d planned on getting to Mun, but I got there.
I shut down the game with my lander orbiting Mun at 12-15 kilometers. Part of me wants to rush back and land the thing. Part of me is scared of crashing the thing, after all this work. I’m quick-saving often, but I still don’t want to crash my beautiful lander.