I've been playing Kerbal Space Program. I have found the simplest way to get to an outer planet is to launch straight up at dawn and the simplest way to get to an inner planet is to launch straight up at dusk, and in neither case to mess about with going into Kerbal orbit. This got me to thinking about trying a Mun shot this way. It took a few tries to get the timing right, but when I did, it worked beautifully. Clearly NASA's job of getting a man to the Moon from Earth would be a bit more complicated because the Moon's orbit is not exactly co-axial with Earth's rotation and Cape Canaveral is not exactly on the equator. But, I can't think of anything wrong with the principle of it. Time the launch so that going straight up (or nearly straight up) puts you on an intercept course with the object you want to intercept. So my question is, what is the point of putting a space craft into Earth orbit before taking off towards to Moon? Or, more generally, towards whatever object is your destination?