Share
 

Ask an Explainer

Q:

When traveling to the moon does your spacecraft orbit around the sun with the Earth or must it account for the movement of the Moon around the sun?

A:

When working with any physics problem, you need to know what system to work with. While the sun is a huge part of our solar system, we don't have to take it into account when sending a rocket to the moon. We can work with just a Moon/Earth system.

 

The rocket we send up is already travelling with the Earth around the sun. It's already got a huge amount of velocity. Think of thorowing a tennis ball up in the air in a moving train. It will land in your hand, not three feet behind you, because it's already going at the same speed as the train. It's the same for rockets. 

Submit a Question
Categories: Flight Dynamics