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Moon Visits

When a satellite or spacecraft circles close to Earth, we say it is in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Because these satellites and spacecraft are traveling so close to Earth, they must travel at very high speeds so that Earth's gravity does not pull them back into the atmosphere. Satellites and spacecraft in LEO can circle the entire Earth in about 90 minutes! This high-speed travel creates a state of free-fall, and things in free-fall are said to be "weightless". This state is also called microgravity environment. In microgravity, people do not feel the effects of gravity. This is the reason we see pictures of astronauts floating around on spacecraft.

Clipart of a spacecraft orbitting earth.  Caption reads:  Spacecraft like the space shuttle travel very quickly to stay in Low Earth Orbit.  This causes the passengers to feel weightless.

The Moon was first visited by a Russian spacecraft called Luna II in 1959. The first time humans visited the Moon was on July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong was the first person to step onto the Moon. The last time anyone visited the Moon was in December 1972. Only 12 people have ever walked on the moon.

Agronaut Log LogoEntry 9: In your Agronaut log, calculate how long it has been since a person has been on the Moon.

The Moon is the only extraterrestrial body that humans have visited. Many people want to go back to the Moon, and other people want to go to planets such as Mars or to other objects in the galaxy such as asteroids.

Agronaut Log LogoEntry 10: Interview someone you know who was alive in 1969 and remembers when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the Moon. Ask this person what he or she remembers. Write down important things that they tell you about 1) what details they remember, 2) how they felt, and 3) how other people reacted. Write about your interview in your Agronaut Log.

 

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