They state there are about 500 or so satellites orbiting around the moon. However according to NASA back when they said we landed on the moon, when the astronauts orbited around the dark side of the moon they stated

radio transmission got cut off and was a bit of a tense moment until the radio transmission resumed when they came around again.

Why would you have 500 so-called satellites orbiting the moon if they only work half the time since according to NASA there is no communication on the dark side?

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    $\begingroup$ Please edit to add the source you found the 500 satellite figure. I believe that to be quite wrong, as there are only a few specialized lunar orbits with the long-term stability to allow a satellite to remain for more than a year or so. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Tuggy Nov 2 '16 at 2:43
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    $\begingroup$ There certainly were not 500 satellites around the moon in 1969. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Nov 2 '16 at 3:49
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    $\begingroup$ Just because the satellite can't communicate with Earth doesn't mean it's not working. It can "do science" and then report later. $\endgroup$ – Steve Nov 2 '16 at 14:13
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    $\begingroup$ Dark side? Really? How about just calling it the far side? $\endgroup$ – JRE Nov 3 '16 at 16:04

Your premise is incorrect.

Only 37 or so spacecraft have ever orbited the moon. Of these, only 3-4 are active in lunar orbit today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_extraterrestrial_orbiters#Moon

During the time of the Apollo moon landing missions, there was only one American satellite orbiting the moon, Explorer 35. It was a science mission, not a communication satellite.


I find the 500 figure very, very questionable.

However, there are times that you simply accept the blackouts. Any satellite whose objective is a substantial body other than the Earth or Sun will experience blackouts caused by that body. It's the price you pay for sending the mission there. The satellites simply have to be built to talk during the time they have a line of sight.


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