MadSci Network: Other

Re: Could you orbit a space station around the moon? Advantages?

Date: Tue May 1 13:47:48 2001
Posted By: Donald E Duggan, Undergraduate, Astronomy/physics - fire science, just plain ol' home
Area of science: Other
ID: 988049527.Ot

You could put a space station in orbit around the moon. For now such an 
idea is ahead a few decades. The ISS will help answer some questions of 
such a mission by virtues of experiences learned and gained from that 
endeavor. One obvious reason for putting a space station in orbit about 
the moon would be the benefit of launching from the moon back toward earth 
and utilizing the gravity of earth to assist in propelling the spacecraft 
to farther reaches of the solar system. This would cut fuel costs 
tremondously. Of course, we would need a permanent presence on such a 
station first and as you can imagine, the logistics of this is a fairly 
complicated economic investment. We will have to leave it to the bean 
counters at nasa for such answers regarding when such a move would be 
advantageous in a cost/benefit type of study. 

Also the gravity around the moon is much less than earths' and this would 
also help to reduce some of the fuel costs. Such a mission would have 
little chance of being pulled to the moon's surface, as happened to the 
Mir recently regarding the earth and its gravity.

Look on the net or your local library regarding the subject of space 
exploration: solar system, for more on this interesting subject.

The moons of Jupiter and Saturn could be utilized as well for exploration 
about those planetary systems. Saturn's moon, Triton, Has an atmoshpere  
very similar to earth's. Though colder, it is the best chance where we can 
discover some sort of ongoing biological life forms as we would find on 
our own planet in its infantcy. One highranking Nasa Official during the 
Apollo program believed it is the most likely place to find the 
civilization from which come the UFO's, if you believe such phenomona are 
the result of extraterrestrial intelligence.

Thinks for the question. Hope this helps in some small way.

Donald Duggan

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