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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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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: Im wondering if you could take a map like ...
3
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2answers
146 views

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. ...
19
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
2
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1answer
467 views

Are low, polar lunar orbits in general relatively stable?

The Phys.org 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 ...
9
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1answer
226 views

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 ...