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Is the Moon in a Freefall?
- Dan (age 16)
Milton WI USA
We say that an object is in free-fall when gravity is the only
force acting on it. Actually, the gravitational force of the sun and
that of the earth both contribute importantly to the moon's path
through space. Gravity can be used to "slingshot" spacecraft around
planets, and we can still say the spacecraft is always in free-fall
(unless it is firing its rocket engines).
(republished on 07/19/06)
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