Mun - Kerbal Space Program Wiki (2024)

Mun

Mun as seen from orbit.
Moon of Kerbin
Orbital Characteristics
Semi-major axis 12 000 000m [Note 1]
Apoapsis 12 000 000m [Note 1]
Periapsis 12 000 000m [Note 1]
Orbital eccentricity 0
Orbital inclination
Argument of periapsis
Longitude of the ascending node
Mean anomaly 1.7rad (at 0s UT)
Sidereal orbital period 138 984s
6d 2h 36m 24.4s
Synodic orbital period 141 115.4s
Orbital velocity 543m/s
Longest time eclipsed 2 213s
Physical Characteristics
Equatorial radius 200 000m
Equatorial circumference 1 256 637m
Surface area 5.0265482×1011m2
Mass 9.7599066×1020kg
Standard gravitational parameter 6.5138398×1010m3/s2
Density 29 125.076kg/m3
Surface gravity 1.63m/s2 (0.166g)
Escape velocity 807.08m/s
Sidereal rotation period 138 984.38s
6d 2h 36m 24.4s
Sidereal rotational velocity 9.0416m/s
Synchronous orbit 2 970.56km
Sphere of influence 2 429 559.1m [Note 1]
Atmospheric Characteristics
Atmosphere present No
Scientific multiplier
Surface 4
Splashed N/A
Near space 3
Outer space 2
Recovery 2
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The distances are given from the body's center, not from the surface (unlike ingame)

Mun, also known as the Mun and sometimes written as Mün, is a relatively large moon orbiting Kerbin. It can be thought of as an analogue to Earth's own moon, which frequently is simply called “the Moon” (Latin: Luna).

It is gray in appearance with craters of various sizes and mountains exceeding 5029m in height. The gravitational pull on the surface is 1.63m/s², approximately 5/6 and 8.18m/s² lower than that of Kerbin and about the surface gravity of Earth's Moon (1.624m/s²). It is possible to land on the Mun or use it for gravity assists (gravitational slingshots) to outer bodies such as Minmus or into Kerbol orbit, though such maneuvers do not save very much fuel and are more imprecise. It is, however, useful for plane changes with proper timing.

New players should note that Mun (like the majority of celestial bodies in the game) has no atmosphere. That means parachutes do not work when descending to the surface.

There are anomalous geological formations that can be found on the surface of the Mun.

Synchronous orbit around the Mun is not possible, since it would have to occur at an altitude of 2 970.58km, beyond the Mun's sphere of influence. However, putting your spacecraft just outside Mun's SOI and having the same semi-major axis would make it appear stationary. A normal 25km orbit can be achieved using around 800m/s delta V. With the 600 m/s provided by a jetpack Kerbals can fly to very low orbit if they use a very efficient ascent profile. This excludes flying over high obstacles early in the flight. A semi-synchronous orbit with half the rotation period of the Mun is possible at approximately 1797.41 kilometers.

There is a tutorial about traveling to the Mun.

Contents

  • 1 In-game Description
  • 2 Terrain
  • 3 Biomes
    • 3.1 Biome list
  • 4 KSP2
    • 4.1 Surface Research Locations
      • 4.1.1 Mun Monument
    • 4.2 Maps
      • 4.2.1 Biomes
      • 4.2.2 Visual map
  • 5 Observation from Kerbin
  • 6 Observation of Kerbin
  • 7 Science
  • 8 Reference Frames
  • 9 Gallery
  • 10 Trivia
  • 11 Changes
  • 12 Notes

In-game Description

KSP 1:

The Mun, is a large satellite orbiting Kerbin. It is mostly gray in appearance, with craters of various sizes dotting its otherwise smooth surface.
The Mun’s discovery is widely regarded as one of the more important breakthroughs of Kerbal evolution. Granted, it didn’t happen all that long ago, but it’s still fair to say Kerbals are wiser and more evolved now than they were back then.''

Kerbal Astronomical Society

KSP 2:

Kerbin's closest extraterrestrial body, the Mun is a prime destination for early space missions. Its orbit's inclination and eccentricity match Kerbin's, so SOI transfers are as easy as forgetting ladders! Explore the scars of impact collisions and ancient tectonic activity on its surface or give it a wave as your vessel slingshots past it into the rest of the system!

Terrain

The minimum height for the different inclinations

The Mun's terrain is rough, grey, and scarred by craters. Its low-lying areas tend to be darker in colour. The Mun also features canyons which can be hundreds of meters deep and a few kilometers long.

The Mun's highest points reach a maximum altitude of more than 7061m near the south pole at 152.33°W and 82.52°S. This altitude permits 10× warp, allowing crashes with terrain while being in a seemingly stable orbit. Its lowest point, below -247m, is on the northern hemisphere south-west of the large northern crater at 76.63°W and 35.32°N.

When terrain scatter is activated in the graphics settings, the Mun has rocks scattered on its surface. Like all terrain scatters, these rocks are strictly cosmetic and do not collide with ships or Kerbals.

The Mun is peppered with procedural impact craters making Mun landing more difficult. Previously the lowest point with an altitude of 0 m was on the east side of a large crater, at 35.42°E, 8.27°N.

The Hell Kraken has been encountered on the Mun, with objects being thrown out of Kerbin's sphere of influence upon reloading the craft.

The Mun also has several hidden surprises for explorers to find:

Spoiler: Easter eggs

  • There are three large stone arches. Due to their size they can be spotted easily from a low (<10km) orbit near the equator.
  • There is a memorial honouring Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon. It can be found inside one of the largest craters, near the south wall. It is at nearly the same coordinates where Apollo 11 first landed on the moon. It appears as a tiny white dot from low orbit.
  • There are three monoliths ("Munoliths"). These are very hard to find because of their small size. One is partially underground, one is on top of a steep hill and is at the bottom of a deep, steep-sided valley.

Biomes

Mun biome map

The Mun has, with a total of 17, the most biomes of any celestial body. Each major crater is a distinct biome, which gives them somewhat official names; however, like all biome names, they are fairly generic. The Midlands and Highlands biomes each have a biome applied to any of the nameless large craters within them. The polar regions also have three different biomes. There are seven distinct craters and two basins.

Biome list

Mun biome map before update 1.2

  • Poles
  • Polar Lowlands
  • Polar Crater
  • Highlands
  • Highland Craters
  • Midlands
  • Midland Craters
  • Lowlands
  • Northeast Basin
  • Farside Basin
  • Northwest Crater
  • East Farside Crater
  • Canyons
  • Farside Crater
  • East Crater
  • Twin Craters
  • Southwest Crater

KSP2

Surface Research Locations

Mun - Kerbal Space Program Wiki (5) This section contains spoilers. Linking to a subsection is not recommended as this will skip over this warning.

Surface research locations include:

  • Craters
  • HighLands
  • Mare
  • Mare Eye
  • Rayed Crater

Spoiler: Hidden Discoveries

  • Arches
  • Monument
  • Mun Mound
  • Mun-or-Bust Site

Mun Monument

The Mun monument is a discovery located in one of the large mares at 12°27'27" N 39°13'03" E. It is a golden arch approximately 120 m in both diameter and height, anchored in a broken rock formation. There are glowing gems embedded in upper portion of the arch, allowing navigation to the location even at night.

Locating and landing at the Mun monument is a primary KSP 2 mission.

Maps

Biomes

Mun biome map with legend (as of v0.2.1.0 (from Orbital Survay mod))

Visual map

File:Mun visual.png

Mun visual map (as of v0.2.1.0)

Mun visual map (Imgur)

Observation from Kerbin

The Mun's orbit keeps it directly above Kerbin's equator. Because the Mun is tidally locked to Kerbin with a perfectly circular, non-inclined orbit, exactly 50% of the Mun's surface (excluding areas on the edge obscured by the Mun's mountains) is ever visible from Kerbin.

Due to the Mun's non-inclined orbit, eclipses occur every time the Mun goes between the Sun and Kerbin. Due to graphic engine limitations, these solar eclipses currently do not make the sky black, or darken the land. However, solar panels will become blocked by the Mun in an eclipse and become useless for a short period of time.

A full Kerbolar eclipse can be observed while landed at KSC starting about Year 1, Day 351, 5h:40m, and ending (being partial again) somewhere around Year 1, Day 352, 0h:22m. Not sure of other occurences or locations, but this one at KSC is confirmed (unless game times and positions of bodies varies between players). A Kerbolar eclipse happens every synodic orbital period, or about 6 days 3 hours, somewhere on Kerbin's equator.

Although the game graphics depict Mun as totally covering the solar disk during an eclipse, based on the given diameters of Sun and Mun and their distances from Kerbin, Sun has a larger apparent size. For observers on and near Kerbin, solar eclipses would be annular.

Observation of Kerbin

Because Mun is tidally locked to Kerbin, Kerbin is only visible from 50% of the Mun's surface, and Kerbin never sets or rises as seen from the Mun. The Mun longitude for which Kerbin remains directly above in the sky (at the zenith) is 47°26'10" East. The Mun's equator is coplanar with Kerbin's, so any location on the Mun's equator that faces Kerbin will also face Kerbin's equator. Kerbin is not tidally locked to the Mun, so any point on the Mun where Kerbin is not obscured by the Mun's landscape will be able to observe every point on Kerbin as Kerbin rotates. Kerbin's synodic rotational period with the Mun is 25617.909 seconds, or 1.18323 Kerbin solar days.

Science

Although the science-multipliers of Mun's surface and orbit are quite low compared to that of other planets and moons, Mun is comparably easy to reach and has a very large number of biomes which all yield different science results. This makes it - together with Minmus - the main source of science points during the midgame.

Reference Frames

Time warp Minimum Altitude
Any
5× 5 000 m
10× 5 000 m
50× 10 000 m
100× 25 000 m
1 000× 50 000 m
10 000× 100 000 m
100 000× 200 000 m

Gallery

  • Two Kerbals riding a spacebike

  • A full projection map of the Mun as of version 0.14.2 through 0.20.2

  • A topographic height map of the Mun made with the ISA MapSat plugin

  • A successful landing on the Mun with a two-kerbal capsule. This is often a milestone for new players.

  • A kerbal watching the sunrise on the moon.

  • A rover driving across a Mun crater in the night.

  • A solar eclipse caused by the Mun. The vehicle has run out of electric charge because the sun is blocked.

  • Error creating thumbnail: File missing

    Four kerbals manning a Mun base

  • A vessel has just entered Munar orbit and is getting ready to initiate a landing.

  • A proud little probe recharges its batteries after landing on the Mun, prior to sending back precious science data.

  • A victorious landing party celebrates a safe trip with a Munar selfie.

  • A lander returns to orbit to dock with its mothership and offload crew and data.

  • Jeb and Bob are riding a small rover on the Mun. Bill was scared and stayed in the lander.

  • Well, looks like Jeb played a round of kerbal golf!

  • Jeb and Bob standing on the edge of a crater (Fun fact, Jeb fell down the crater , but luckily there was a quick save!

  • A lander rendezvouing with its mothership (Apollo style) at a low altitude.

  • Mun arch as in 0.17(at the lander's leftdown)

Spoiler: Screenshots of easter eggs

  • A Mun arch

  • Another Mun Arch as seen on version 0.20.2

  • The arch on the north rim of the large crater facing Kerbin.

  • A Monolith

  • Neil Armstrong memorial on the Mun

  • The crashed UFO on the Mun.

Trivia

Mün or Bust in the game menu

  • After its implementation, many fans began calling the body Mün, pronounced the same as "moon", believing the original spelling to be a mistake. However, several of the game's developers have been heard referring to it as Mun, pronounced "muhn". In the "Surface of the Mün" title screen, a crashed lander resembling a Kerbal X has the words "Mün or Bust" scrawled on the side. Both spellings are generally accepted, however the spelling in-game is The Mun, despite the fact that planets can have non-english letters in them.
  • Mun was Kerbin's, and indeed the game's, very first moon.
  • Mun's orbit is perfectly circular and has zero orbital inclination. Such an orbit in reality would be very unlikely since this would require precise positioning of any dust/bodies that created it during the planetary system's formation, as well as the absence of a central star or other planets.
    • This was likely done to make it easier to reach for new players.
    • This also makes it an excellent guideline to use for placing satellites into exact inclinations around Kerbin. By setting Mun as target, the relative inclination described by the maneuver tool also represents the inclination of the satellite's orbit to Kerbin
  • Prior to version 0.14.2, the tallest points on the munar surface were no higher than roughly 600m.
  • Before introduction of procedural terrain the Mun's highest point was within 45° latitude of the equator, had an altitude of 2967m and was located at 129.64°W,0.97°N, on the north side of a canyon which was on the east edge of a large crater.
  • Prior to version 0.14.3 a KSC could be found on the Mun.
  • The Mun is considerably larger than 1/10 the size of the real world Moon.
  • The Mun is one of the few bodies in the solar system that is almost completely manually colored (i.e., it uses a color map). Most other planets and moons are colored procedurally or with a lot of procedural colors doing the work. The only procedural colors on the Mun are associated with the procedural craters and a basic noise. The other planets which are manually colored are Tylo (Aside from a tenuous coat of height color map) and Jool (As a gas giant, it must be manually colored)
  • Before 0.90 the Mun was one of the few bodies with multiple biomes.

Changes

1.12.5
  • Revised an easter egg
1.3
  • Changed displayName to The Mun, removed useTheInName feature.
1.2
  • Added biomes.
0.21
  • New Procedurally generated craters.
0.20.1
  • Height values reverted
0.20
  • Terrain overhaul
0.18
  • Easter Eggs added (one fixed, one added)
  • New small art pass.
0.17
  • Texture Improvements
  • Mun arches appeared
0.16
  • Easter Eggs added
0.15
  • Texture Improvements
0.14.3
  • Removed KSC on it.(don't ask)
0.14.2
  • Terrain overhaul
0.12
  • Initial Release

Notes

  • v
  • t
  • e

Kerbol System

KerbolMohoEveKerbinDunaDresJoolEeloo

(The Sun)

  • Gilly
  • Ike
  • Laythe
  • Vall
  • Tylo
  • Bop
  • Pol
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