Sarnus V-A8
by gc1ceo
uploaded 2016-12-04
(updated 2018-06-03)
mod ship
#sarnus #saturn #apollo


  • Type: VAB
  • Class: ship
  • Part Count: 62
  • Mods: 3


  • Bluedog DB
  • Squad (stock)
  • TweakableEverything

The Saturn V, to date, is the largest and most powerful rocket ever launched and carried most of the Apollo missions excluding 7, ASTP, and the Skylab missions. The Sarnus V is an approximation of the Saturn V by Blue Dog Design Bureau and built from the manual specifications. The configuration of this build is more specific to the Apollo 8 mission which lacked the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) but was the first mission to orbit the Moon and see the first Earthrise in humanity’s consciousness.

The Sarnus V is a powerful three stage launcher which carries the Kane-11-3 spacecraft for an extended Munar (or potentially Minmunar) mission. The first stage should get the payload into at least the edge of the atmosphere if not into space directly, regardless of the fuel situation it should be ejected once its completed this task. The second stage finishes the ascent, if necessary, and handles the orbital circularization. The third stage is for finishing the orbital circularization, if necessary, and for making the TMI (Trans Munar Injection). I recommend an initial orbit of somewhere around 100km and it doesn’t have to be perfectly circular for a smooth TMI but achieving less eccentricity may make the TMI calculations easier on newer players.

I recommend one of two approaches for the TMI burn. The first utilizes a free return trajectory so that everything, both rocket stage and spacecraft, will return straight to Kerbal if an orbital insertion burn isn’t made. The second is to focus on impacting the spent rocket stage into the Mun and making correction burns with the spacecraft after decoupling to avoid the same fate for the spacecraft.

After a successful TMI burn you should take care when decoupling as the ejection force may alter the trajectory of both the rocket stage and the spacecraft. A safer bet is to orient the craft to either normal or anti-normal before decoupling so that additional prograde or retrograde forces are minimized. However most course corrections after the decoupling can be made with just a bit of RCS and shouldn’t require you to fire the spacecraft’s on-board engine prematurely. If you want some extra challenge you might try flying in formation with the spent rocket stage as was done on Apollo 8.

The journey to the Mun should be fairly uneventful except for monitoring your electric charge and turning on fuel cells as needed. There should be more than enough to keep the spacecraft powered for the duration of the entire mission.

The spacecraft’s on-board engine will handle the orbit insertion and the TKI (Trans Kerbin Injection) along with enough fuel to make some orbital modifications as necessary. The thrust isn’t nearly as powerful as the third stage so keep that in mind when calculating your burns.

The TKI burn will take between 400 and 500 dv so keep that in mind when using the fuel cells while in orbit, while a more shallow angle is recommended for descent the spacecraft can tolerate a pretty sharp plunge if necessary. The service module should be decoupled upon the beginning of your re-entry and there is an excess of ablative heat shield regardless of your re-entry.

Built in the VAB in KSP version 1.4.3.

Update for 1.3

I have removed the extra fuel cells and test satellite to keep the number of mods simpler for a basic Munar/Minmunar orbital mission. This is also a complete rebuild with a few changes in fuel in different stages but the instructions above should still be valid.

swipe to switch images, tap to close