How Low Can something orbit the Moon?

How Low Can something orbit the Moon?

The lowest orbit achieved would probably be PFS-2, a small satellite deployed from Apollo 16’s service module. It was intended to go into a 55×76-mile orbit (88.5×122 km), but due to variations in the Moon’s gravity field, it made passes of six miles (9.6 km) or less before crashing into the Moon’s surface.

Is it possible to orbit the Moon?

Although a spacecraft can orbit the Moon for a while, it’s just not stable. The tidal forces will cause the spacecraft’s orbit to decay until it crashes. But further out in the Solar System, there are tiny asteroids with even tinier moons.

What is the lowest possible orbit?

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There is an orbit around the Earth called the Low Earth orbit (LEO) with an altitude between 160-2000 km. This is the lowest altitude at which an object can go on orbiting around the Earth.

How high can you orbit the Moon?

Normally the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) orbits the Moon in a 50 km altitude, near-circular, polar orbit. The orbit is “near”-circular, as LRO’s altitude can vary between its lowest altitude (periapsis) of 35 km and its highest altitude (apoapsis) of 65-km over a twenty eight day period.

Can you orbit at any height?

So what are the limits? Anything below 160 km altitude will essentially re-enter almost immediately, as it’s buffeted by the thicker atmosphere. You really wouldn’t last more than a few hours at that altitude, but above 800 km you could orbit for more than 100 years.

Is the moon in low Earth orbit?

The distance varies because the moon travels around Earth in an elliptical orbit. At perigee, the point at which the moon is closest to Earth, the distance is approximately 360,000 kilometers. At apogee, the point at which the moon is farthest from Earth, the distance is approximately 405,000 kilometers.

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What altitude is LRO?

31 mi
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/Orbit height

How close can you orbit a planet?