BDB/MLP Apollo Saturn V
by DarkStar
uploaded 2018-05-31
(updated 2018-06-06)
mod ship
#Apollo #SaturnV


  • Type: VAB
  • Class: ship
  • Part Count: 120
  • Mods: 3


  • AlphaMensae’s Modular Launch Pads
  • Bluedog DB
  • Squad (stock)
  • B9 Part Switch
  • Animated Decouplers

BDB/MLP Apollo Saturn V

A mod rocket called BDB/MLP Apollo Saturn V. Built with 120 of the finest VAB parts from KSP version 1.4.3.

The Apollo and Saturn V build is from Bluedog Design Bureau and the Launch Pad is from AlphaMensae’s Modular Launch Pads. Dramatic lighting is provided for a Night launch. I am extremely impressed at the fidelity of the Bluedog Design Bureau Saturn V & Apollo models. Plus, I finally get a proper S-IC/S-II interstage separation :)

This is a pretty standard build, probably not perfect. There is an Mk3 Passenger Module at the bottom of the Tower in case you want to start your Kerbals there and lift them up in the main tower elevator. You can also move the Passenger Module down below and let them go up both elevators.

I added some Docking Port Jr.‘s for use as camera ports on the bottom of S-II, if you have that Mod, so you can watch the S-IC and Interstage separations from that classic perspective.

You need to shutdown the engines and stage before you run out of fuel to get a similar launch profile to the Apollo 17, but this is realistic and you shouldn’t need to rush the staging in this build. For hyper-realism try to circularize around 69000 km so the orbit decays with time as the Apollo Parking Orbit was fairly low and would decay.

Saturn V engines could not throttle down and were ignited only once except for the S-IVB which could be fired twice on the manned missions. However, the S-IC & S-II stages can cutoff the inboard (center) engine and S-II changed engine fuel mixture which lowers thrust (simulate by throttling down a bit). Watch the Time to Apoapsis closely (with Kerbal Engineer Redux mod), pitch is your main control.

When you Abort be sure to disable SAS or set Retrograde, the Launch Escape System will deploy small canards to help push the Blunt-End-Forward before it self-jettisons. Even a Pad abort should get you into the ocean.

One very minor note – the Spacecraft Lunar Module Adapter (SLA) doesn’t have the option to jettison the Panels, in early testing they had failed to fully open so they added a spring-loaded hinge release system in later versions which is missing in this model. But I do like the look of leaving them attached.

Flight Plan


2,400 m/s Δv

  • ’t’ - Enable SAS to start tower generator
  • STAGE - Retract Crew Access Arm
  • STAGE - Retract tower umbilicals & tail service masts
  • ‘z’ - Full throttle
  • STAGE - S-IC engine ignition & release lock downs
  • MANUAL - Around velocity 100m/s lean over ~10° and begin gravity turn following the Prograde marker
  • ACTION ‘1’ - Shutdown S-IC inboard engine at 30s to apoapsis
  • MANUAL - Wait for apoapsis 62km
  • ‘x’ - Shutdown S-IC engines
  • STAGE - S-IC Separation


2,600 m/s Δv

  • MANUAL - Wait for ~45 seconds to apoapsis
  • ‘z’ - Full throttle
  • STAGE - S-II engine ignition
  • MANUAL - Wait for ullage motors to extinquish and hold inertial attitude
  • STAGE - S-IC/S-II interstage jettison
  • STAGE - Launch Escape Tower jettison
  • ACTION ‘2’ - Shutdown S-II inboard engine, once Time to Apoapsis begins to climb
  • MANUAL - Throttle down to 90% to simulate Engine Mixture Ratio (EMR) Shift
  • MANUAL - Wait for periapsis around 0km
  • ‘x’ - Shutdown S-II engines
  • STAGE - S-II Separation

S-IVB - Parking Orbit & TransMunar Injection

2,000 m/s Δv

  • MANUAL - Wait for Time to apoapsis 10 seconds
  • ‘z’ - Full throttle
  • STAGE - Fire ullage motors and ignight S-IVB engine for Circularization burn into Parking Orbit
  • ‘x’ - Shutdown S-IVB engine once Parking Orbit obtained
  • MANUAL - Prepare for Trans-Munar Injection burn with S-IVB engine
  • ‘r’ - Enable RCS (by default only the APS is enabled)
  • ‘h’ - Ullage briefly using APS to settle fuel in tanks
  • ‘z’ - Full throttle S-IVB engine for TMI burn
  • ‘r’ - Disable RCS (APS)
  • ‘x’ - Shutdown engines after TMI burn
  • MANUAL - Confirm Trans-Munar Trajectory, adjust as necessary
  • ACTION ‘4’ - Start all fuel cells

CSM/LV Separation

  • STAGE - CSM Separation from LM Adapter
  • ACTION ‘3’ - Enable docking lights (on)
  • ACTION ‘7’ - Toggle High-Gain Antenna (extended)
  • MANUAL - Set MEM docking port as target
  • MANUAL - SAS(Target) hold to execute 180° turn
  • ACTION ‘0’ - Enable RCS ports on CSM
  • MANUAL - Use RCS to gently align & engage CSM docking port with MEM [TIP: reduce RCS thrust on the thruster quads for finer control]
  • ACTION ‘5’ - Extend active docking port lock
  • ACTION ‘8’ - Undock MEM from LV
  • MANUAL - Wait to clear the LV
  • STAGE - Activate SPS Engine
  • MANUAL - Maneuver safely away from S-IVB
  • MANUAL - Orient for Passive Thermal Control (PTC) [pitch up 90° so the Sun is hitting the side, disable SAS, begin very slow roll axial rotation ~0.35° per second (~17 minutes per roll)
  • MANUAL - You can also open the Pod Bay Doors at this time if desired

Optional: S-IVB Munar Impact

  • MANUAL - Switch to S-IVB and set course for a Munar Impact

Mun Orbit Insertion

~300 m/s Δv

  • MANUAL - Make midcourse corrections as needed to intercept Mun at ~15km
  • MANUAL - Execute SPS Burn (SAS)Retrograde at Mun periapsis for Mun orbit injection with a ~15km orbit

MEM Descent

1,600 m/s Δv

  • MANUAL - Transfer Kerbals to MEM, SAS(Normal) to orient CSM for undocking
  • ACTION ‘6’ - Undock MEM from C/SM
  • MANUAL - Switch to MEM (normally ‘[’ will do)
  • ACTION ‘0’ - Enable RCS pods
  • MANUAL - Clear CSM and prepare for descent
  • ACTION ‘7’ - Extend MEM antennas
  • ‘g’ - Extend Landing Gear
  • ‘t’ - Enable SAS - Point SAS(Retrograde)
  • STAGE - Activate Descent Propulsion System
  • MANUAL - Descend and Land
  • ACTION ‘9’ - Shutdown Descent Engine

MEM Ascent

1,120 m/s Δv

  • ‘z’ - full throttle
  • STAGE - Descent Module separation and MEM Ascent Engine ignition
  • MANUAL - Rendezvous with CSM & Dock, transfer Kerbals to CSM, transfer any MEM resources
  • ACTION ‘6’ - Jettison empty MEM

CSM TransKerbin Injection (TKI) and Reentry

~300 m/s Δv

  • MANUAL - SPS burn to Kerbin intercept at 20km
  • MANUAL - SAS(Radial Out) until 120km (~1 minute to reentry)
  • STAGE - Separate Command & Service Module
  • STAGE - Decouple Docking Port & enable parachute deployment
  • STAGE - Activate Drogue and Parachutes for auto-deploy
  • MANUAL - SAS(Retrograde) for reentry

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