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Can space junk crash into the moon?

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posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 03:40 AM
I ask this question in response to the numerous threads we see started about alien bases on planets, especially the moon.

It seems that every time a natural feature with a straight(ish) line on one or more side of it appears, it gets classed as a base of some kind. You only have to search for natural wonders here on earth to see that our planet has evolved into so many amazing shapes, especially rock formations. Nothing alien or manmade about them, just Mother Nature being artistic. I realise that there are factors like wind and water here on earth that can affect the shape of things that as far as we know, don't occur on the moon, but the shapes that we see on the moon have occurred naturaly in their own way so far.

So the space junk question. In the same way that space debris like asteroids and whatever else is flying around up there can crash into planets now and again, hence the impact craters, does than mean there is no reason why things like man made material can't hit the moon as well?

I'm picturing the larger things like satellites and the likes, could some of the things we see just be bits of our rubbish? Possibly crash landed and buried in all that dust up there, yet leaving traces of outlines that can be seen on camera?

I don't know enough about the way gravity works up there on and away from the moon to know whether my question is even valid, but i thought i'd put it out there to those who know more.



posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 03:50 AM
most stuff is launched into low orbit where the main gravitational attractor will be the earth trying to pull it down and while the moon will exert some force it will not have the same strength as the earth which is why alot of sattelites etc have rockets to be able to adjust their trajectories to maintain the correct altitude, cant remember the maths but its all basic newtonian stuff to do with the mass of objects

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 03:51 AM
No, they are too slow to reach the moon. You would need the "second cosmic velocity". Junk in an orbit around earth doesn't have that speed or they would not be in orbit.
edit on 15-3-2012 by ManFromEurope because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 04:21 AM

Originally posted by Maxatoria
most stuff is launched into low orbit ...

But of course there are a smaller number of bits that have been sent out of earths orbit, and some tiny tiny number of those bits are now in orbit around the sun with an orbit not completely different to that of earth.
So I'd say in theory, yes, it could happen, but for all practical purposes the number of those items are probably too small for one to have ever accidentally hit the moon.

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 05:17 AM
I would guess that the satellite collision a couple of years ago could have generated enough force to propel some fragments out of orbit, potentially towards the moon or into lunar orbit.

But they'd be far to small to observe.

edit on 15-3-2012 by BagBing because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 10:25 AM
Satellite orbits around the Moon are not stable in the long-term. If left on their own, they will crash after a couple of years. So in answer to the OP's question, yes space junk that is near the moon can crash in to it.

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 10:51 AM
Here is a list of all man-made objects that have crashed on the moon, some on purpose, some just because of launch trajectory, and of course some that safely landed and abandoned. There are also a lot of nice Hassleblad cameras left there. Some upper stages that have escaped earth orbit usually enter a solar orbit, some Apollo fuel takes are still in solar orbit today, one last year was spotted and at first believed to be a NEO, until identified.

Space probes litter the solar system with their upper stage escape velocity rockets, but trajectories usually aren't towards the moon. New Horizons space probe launched in 2006 escaped earth orbit at a record speed, in fact its ATK Star 48B third stage beat New Horizons to Jupiter, but being unguided it didn't get a gravity slingshot so now New Horizons is further than its booster, and over half of the way to Pluto. (I know nobody asked, I just find it interesting).

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 10:59 AM
The slowest orbital speed of the LRO is about 2,287 mph. You orbit the moon any slower than that your craft will crash, in fact that is not a stable orbit for the LRO, but it still has fuel left. Lunar escape velocity is about 5,320 mph, but of course the higher in orbit a craft is the speed is reduced, that is what it takes from liftoff.

posted on Mar, 15 2012 @ 10:59 AM
Moon is much further away than you think. Even geo positioned satellites aren't close to the moon.

answer is No. except for maybe a few pieces of metal from apollo missions, etc etc..

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