This answer includes several quotes from apollo astronauts that have walked on the moon. They describe a form of bipedal locomotion they call loping.

Question: Exactly how does one lope on the Moon? Is it possible to describe in text? See for example the first few sentences of Wikipedia's trot or cantor and gallup for how this can be done effectively.

Video links may be helpful additions to an answer, but the answer should explain/describe how to do it and what's involved. Thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ reduced-gravity-sports might be a bit of a stretch but understanding methods bipedal motion in reduced gravity is important so I think future readers will find answers to this question helpful. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 9, 2019 at 8:00

1 Answer 1


Moon Loping is a form of legged lunar locomotion performed by humans on the natural Earth satellite (the Moon) where the human propels itself through a space above the lunar surface along a ballistic trajectory with relatively long duration of the floating phase.

Lunar gaits page gives the following description:

Most of the astronauts on the later missions favored a loping gait in which they still alternated feet but pushed off with each step and floated forward before planting the next foot. Ed Mitchell of Apollo 14 and Gene Cernan on Apollo 17 favored a skipping stride in which they kept one foot always forward, let's say the left and, as they landed, hit with the trailing foot just a fraction of a second before the leading foot, pushing off with each foot as it hit and launching into the next glide. 

Same source quotes Armstrong's explanaition:

Armstrong, from the 1969 Technical Debrief - "I can best describe a lope as having both feet off the ground at the same time, as opposed to walking where you have one foot on the ground at all times. In loping, you leave the ground with both feet and come down with one foot in a normal running fashion. It's not like an Earth run here, because you are taking advantage of the low gravity."

Emphasis mine.

I'm not 100% sure, but it looks like there's moon loping demonstrated at 4:47 in this video:

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer. I was sure that this one would have spike to the top of the HNQ, my gosh who on Earth wouldn't want to know exactly how to lope on the Moon? ;-) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 10, 2019 at 10:55
  • $\begingroup$ They are about double the earths mass due to their heavy suit. Without this weight and mass one would presumably jump farther. $\endgroup$ Dec 30, 2020 at 23:54

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