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Moon Landing Question

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posted on May, 1 2004 @ 02:51 AM
I just want to know if anyone can answer a simple question about the moon landing for me. The Moon has about 1/6 earths gravity so when the astronuats wanted to leave the moon why did there capsule not look like it was 1/6 the size of rockets that leave earth orbit? I understand that there is no air and thus no air resistance on the moon but does that really explain the small size of rockets needed to escape the moons orbit?That is the only thing i could never figure out about the moon landing and it always bugged me.

posted on May, 1 2004 @ 03:00 AM

Originally posted by ShadowXIX
I just want to know if anyone can answer a simple question about the moon landing for me. The Moon has about 1/6 earths gravity so when the astronuats wanted to leave the moon why did there capsule not look like it was 1/6 the size of rockets that leave earth orbit? I understand that there is no air and thus no air resistance on the moon but does that really explain the small size of rockets needed to escape the moons orbit?That is the only thing i could never figure out about the moon landing and it always bugged me.

You pretty much explained it yourself. The moon doesn't have the atmosphere the earth does. It would make sense that the engines would have to be 1/6th the size of the boosters used by the initial rocket...But the moon is lacking earth's atmosphere (it does have an extrememly thin atmosphere)

I'm also going to U2U cmdrKeenKid this thread; being an astronomy teacher, he may be able to explain this a lot better then myself. I'm interested in the moon, but I'm a lot more interested in other heavenly bodies, so I don't have a ton of knowlege on the gravity/booster topic. Just remember, 1/6th the gravity also means 1/6th the distance one needs to travel to escape the Moon's gravitational pull, which would lead one to believe the rockets would have to be 1/36th the size if the moon had the same atmosphere.

Hope that began to settle worries, I know for a fact that cmdr believes the moon landing took place, and he will be able to put the other aspects into perspective, I'm assuming.

posted on May, 1 2004 @ 03:18 AM
Thanks for the reply I never really thought about the distance needed to be traveled to escape the gravity pull of a smaller size field. That makes alot more sense when you factor in the lack of any air resistance too.Thanks again for the info

posted on May, 1 2004 @ 11:47 AM

Originally posted by ShadowXIX
I just want to know if anyone can answer a simple question about the moon landing for me. The Moon has about 1/6 earths gravity so when the astronuats wanted to leave the moon why did there capsule not look like it was 1/6 the size of rockets that leave earth orbit? I understand that there is no air and thus no air resistance on the moon but does that really explain the small size of rockets needed to escape the moons orbit?That is the only thing i could never figure out about the moon landing and it always bugged me.

wel, as jj said you pretty much answered it yourself and he did a mighty fine job elaborating. so here's my spin/addition to it...

the saturn v rocket, on earth weighs in at over 6 million pounds. the rocket engines on the first stage was just over 18 feet in diameter.

the entire lunar module, on earth, weighs on at about 33,500 pounds. that's about 179 times less the weight of the entire saturn v rocket. i don't know and have been able to locate any specifications for the lunar module's engine though.

on the moon, though, the lunar module would only weigh about 5,600 pounds, due to to the lesser gravity. also, with the near lack of an atmosphere there is less resistence. that's why it wouldn't need anywhere as powerful of engines.

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