The EDSBSSP is pleased to announce the first successful landing on the Mun with the safe return of Jebediah Kerman. Previous Jebediah Kermans had been forever plastered, smattered, smothered, and covered on the moon.
But, Jebediah Kerman's will to succeed was aided by his Groundhog Day-ian infinite lives.
Below details Jebediah's journey to the Mun.
The first thing Jebediah needed to get to the Mun was a way to get off the Mun. You see, you gotta think upside down when building rockets, Paawwwlllll.
The Mun Lander uses stock parts from KSP. It has a parachute, capsule, separator, RCS fuel tank with 4 thrusters placed using the symmetry tool, an advanced SAS module, 2 fuel tanks, and a vectoring liquid rocket engine. Then 3 fins were placed to provide landing stability and were placed on horizontal separators. The staging has been changed to eject the fins after the liftoff from the Mun.
Now, the second stage. This stage will be doing most of the boosting to get us to the Mun, and should have enough fuel to provide initial braking, saving stage 1's fuel for final landing and takeoff for the return home.
A horizontal separator is used and then 2 SAS modules are followed by a RCS+thrusters node, then a tri split. Place 3 liquid rocket fuel tanks there and put vectoring engines on the bottom. Be sure to connect the bottom of the stages with strut connectors.
What we have built above is now the portion of the rocket that will make it to the Mun. The easiest way I've found to get this into orbit is outlined below.
Next, we're going to make heavy use of the symmetry tool - and wrap 8 booster columns around what was created above.
First, in the double SAS + RCS area, triple stack horizontal decouplers.
We will be sticking the 4 liquid fuel tanks with a non-vectoring liquid engine around this. You have to build it individually tank by tank on one stack, and the symmetry tool will build them down on all other stacks.
These need to all be tied to each other at the bottom or really fun rotational explosions occur shortly off the launching pad.
(As an aside, a neat trick in the game is to take the tanks off from the top tank and place them on the side. You can then use alt+left-mouse-click to copy it. I did this for a while when I put 24 colums of liquid boosters around this core, but it made it really difficult to turn into orbit)
Now, with the core above, you can play with addons to the tanks. I went with another horizontal decoupler topped with a fuel tank that fed to the center column tanks and made sure that tank was in the initial stage at launch so it would be drained or mostly drained when I ejected it. I placed a solid booster beneath it, tied it to the center column, then placed a decoupler and another solid booster and tied that down. Then the staging needs to be set such that the center column of rockets (but not the moon-bound core) goes off with the solid rocket boosters. Simplify ejection of the central core horizontal decouplers, and you'll get something that looks like this...
This is the launchable craft - and if you wanna just use it, download the craft file here and place it in your Ships directory.
I managed to do a safe landing on the dark side of the Mun - which is a bit more difficult than on the lit side. Basically, transfer orbits and get within about 100000m of the Mun then begin retrofiring. Use the green circle with the x in it to keep your ship lined up for a perfect landing.
Slow and steady is the rule here.
You need to land somewhere under 5m/s or you will break things.
Note that the surface of the Mun isn't at 0 meters, so when you get below 400m you need to start watching the ball and the terrain.
After chilling for a while, you can take off by throttling up and ejecting the landing fins.
Transfer your orbits back to Kerman's orbits and then slow down until you will intersect either the planet or the atmosphere (depending on how much fuel you have left).
Bill and Bob have crapped their pants. Jebediah is a little firmer up front.