Does anything orbit the Moon?
Yes, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and a handful of other active spacecraft are currently orbiting the Moon. One of the really cool CubeSats I’m excited about is NASA CAPSTONE, which joined these other spacecraft in orbit around the Moon. CAPSTONE stands for the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment. It serves as a pathfinder mission for Gateway as part of NASA’s Artemis program. Gateway is a space station that will orbit the Moon and provide a place for astronauts to resupply and prepare for their trips down to the lunar surface.
Did you know that orbits around the Moon are very unstable? The Moon’s gravity is extraordinarily lumpy, so it’s really hard to stay in orbit around the Moon. If a satellite orbits too close to the lunar service, the Moon’s gravity might cause the satellite to actually crash into the Moon. On the other hand, if the satellite is slightly too far away from the Moon, the Earth’s gravity will pull the spacecraft out, flinging it away from the Moon altogether.
Does anything orbit the Moon? Yes. There are a handful of satellites currently orbiting our closest celestial neighbor. On November 13, 2022, they welcomed CAPSTONE, a CubeSat designed to test a new and unique halo-shaped orbit that will offer stability for long-term missions like our upcoming lunar Gateway space station. NASA Small Satellites Engineer Ahn Nguyen tells us about it. Credit: NASA
What’s really cool about CAPSTONE is that it’s the first spacecraft to test the entrance and sustainability of a very unique near rectilinear halo orbit, also known as NRHO. This NRHO orbit is at a precise balance point between the gravities of the Earth and the Moon, which offers a long, stable orbit so that Gateway and future spacecraft don’t have to carry so much fuel to stay in orbit around the Moon.
CAPSTONE is helping lead the way for Gateway and helps reduce risk for future spacecraft in this orbit. Another really cool thing about CAPSTONE is that it is also demonstrating a really innovative navigation system that will allow future spacecraft to determine their location without having to rely exclusively on tracking from Earth.
So does anything orbit the Moon? In summary, yes. There are several spacecraft orbiting the Moon and there will be plenty more to come, including CAPSTONE as part of NASA’s Artemis program.
We Asked a NASA Expert Video Series
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- Is NASA Really Crashing a Spacecraft Into an Asteroid?
- Is NASA Aware of Any Earth-Threatening Asteroids?
- When Was the Last Time an Asteroid Hit Earth?
- How Did Perseverance Mars Rover Pick Its Landing Spot?
- What if an Asteroid Was Going To Hit Earth?
- Did Mars Ever Look Like Earth?
- What Are Lagrange Points?
- What Are the Trojan Asteroids?
- Is There Oxygen on Mars?
- Does NASA Know About All the Asteroids?
- Do Aliens Exist?
- Is There Weather on Mars?
- Will an Asteroid Ever Hit Earth?
- Is Mars Habitable?
- Could Microbes Survive a Trip to Mars?
You might want to do a bit more proof-reading on this…
Female astronauts have fewer opportunities in space than men because of strict lifetime radiation exposure restrictions, A six-month mission on the International Space Station exposes astronauts to 40 times the average yearly dose of background radiation that a person would receive living on Earth,
A six-month mission on the International Space Station exposes astronauts to 40 times yearly dose of background radiation that a person would receive on Earth,
While the level of risk allowed for women becouse they have a lower threshold for space radiation exposure than men,
“Depending on when you fly a space mission, a female will fly only 45 to 50 percent of the missions that a male can fly,”
And what happened to putting the best candidates in space like we did in the ’60s when we had a head-to-head competition to determine who had the best ability for which Mission instead of trying to fill political agendas to put a person of color and a female on the moon!
Very good point my friend and think about this, the reason for the colored and a woman long story short , it’s another lie. Logically you always put the best man for job . The most qualified person not on there gender or color unless affirmative action counts the moon now owe no they might steal every thing and trash it to