Questions tagged [mascon]

A mass concentration in a celestial body with higher gravitational pull than its surroundings, causing an uneven or distorted gravitational field.

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17 votes
3 answers

Can you throw a stone into longterm orbit from the surface of a spherical planet if it has lumpy enough gravity?

Could the lumpiness of the gravity of a perfectly spherical but not uniform-density airless planet be exploited to throw a stone into orbit from the surface in such a way that it stays in orbit a long ...
Matthew Christopher Bartsh's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers

How much does it cost to land on a lunar mascon?

This answer to Delta-v for landing on the moon estimates that to go from a circular orbit at 110km to a landing on a spherical Moon would require an absolute minimum of 1736 m/s and the Apollo landers ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer

Is there an "inverse" gravity gradient map for space?

Ive found a lot of images of the moon identifying gmascons all over the moon due to different surface features and densities. Most of them look like this: I'm wondering if you could take a map like ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers

At what magnitude of planetary mass are Mascons a problem for orbiting spacecraft?

Earth's mass is about 1E+25 kg, the Sun about 2E+30 kg, and the Moon is only around 7E+22. ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers

Going from LEO to lunar using only low-thrust ion propulsion - can it be done?

@SF.'s question What are the parameters of the new Iodine electrical rocket engine developed by RSC Energia? links to the short RT article 'Ten times cheaper': Russian space company testing iodine ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer

Are low, polar lunar orbits in general relatively stable?

The article New NASA radar technique finds lost lunar spacecraft describes the use of radar to relocate two spacecraft that were in orbit around the moon but who's orbit had not been actively ...
uhoh's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer

What's the floor for stable retrograde lunar orbits?

I've been playing with lunar retrograde orbits in an orbital simulator. The retrograde lunar orbits with apolunes below 40,000 km altitude are pretty stable. They seem resistant to distortion from ...
HopDavid's user avatar
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