Attempt no landings.
January 27, 2012 4:27 PM Subscribe
Reading about Gingrich's plan
to mine the moon, I starting wondering: could the orbital stability of the moon be changed if enough mass was transferred to the Earth?
posted by hanoixan to Science & Nature (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I would expect a heavier Earth, already spinning faster than the moon, would cause an even larger leading force which would accelerate the moon along its trajectory faster than it currently is, causing it to drift away. But I'm definitely no physicist. On what scale would the mass have to change to to have a catastrophic effect, if any?
For the sake of argument, let's define catastrophe as doubling the current speed at which the moon is already moving away from the Earth.