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# A Comprehensive Guide to the Physics of Running on the Moon One day people will be permanently on the moon. Law? One day it will happen. So how will we live on the moon? And perhaps a more important question – how do we go there ? To prepare for our lunar colony, let me look at three movements we can do on the moon: jump, run, and turn.

Let me note that this analysis is inspired by Andy Weir's latest novel Artemis ]. I will not spoil the plot except to say that there is a girl moving on the moon. Weir does a pretty good job and describes what would be different if you moved the moon compared to the earth.

What is different about the moon compared to the earth? The biggest difference is the gravitational field on the surface. On Earth, the field has a magnitude of 9.8 Newton per kilogram (we use the symbol g). This means that a free falling object (no air resistance) would have a downward acceleration of 9.8 m / s 2 . On the moon, the gravitational field is about 1

.6 N / kg, so the vertical acceleration of a lunar object is much less than one on Earth.

There is another important difference to the moon: it does not have any air. If you're a human jumping, maybe that's no big deal. A terrestrial, jumping human does not move fast enough for air resistance to play a significant role. On the moon, however, the same human would probably want to wear a spacesuit. This suit would both increase the effective mass and reduce the freedom of movement for a moving person. Oh, if there's a lunar base, there'd probably be air in it, so you would not have to wear a spacesuit if you did not think it looked cool (it would).

### Jumping to the Moon

I will start with the simplest jump in motion. Suppose that during a normal human jump a human pushes with a maximum force over a certain distance to the ground. This distance is from the lowest position in the projection squat until the feet are no longer in contact with the ground.

Now for some starting values ​​(you can change them if you want). I'll say that this maximum bounce is three times the weight of the person (the weight on Earth) and the jump distance is 15 centimeters – that's just a guess. With these values, I can not model the movement of a jumping human on Earth. I only calculate the total force as either the force pushing upwards plus gravity while it is "in contact" with the ground or just gravity afterward. It should be a fairly simple numeric calculation.

I'll make a few changes for a jumping human on the moon. Obviously the gravitational field will change – but also some other things. I assume that the person wears a space suit, so this will increase the total mass (but not the maximum bounce). Since a spacesuit is bulky, the jump distance will also be smaller. OK, let's get to him. Here are two jumpers (Moon and Earth). If you want the code for this calculation, go here.

That's what it would look like (with spherical people for simplicity).

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