Falling Toward Earth

Astronaut in outer space
Credit: NASA

Astronauts orbiting the Earth experience sensations of weightlessness. Although “zero gravity” and “microgravity” are often used to describe this environment, weightlessness does not result from a lack of gravity. Even in orbit the astronauts and their spacecraft are actually falling toward Earth because of gravity. But because they are falling together, it seems like the astronauts are just floating.

Categories: Flight Dynamics