May 5 is National Space Day. Falling on the first Friday in May, this day highlights humans’ pursuit of knowledge and progress. We are just one small planet in a vast unending universe. With so many mysteries, even in our own solar system, it’s important to learn as much as possible about space in order to understand our own world better.
Currently, we are working at going back to the Moon. This is a precursor to our eventual travel to the planet Mars. Eventually, we’ll be able to visit and explore all the planets in our solar system. Without having visited these planets, we already know so much about them. For instance, we know how much we would weigh on each planet. This is calculated by the force of gravity, something we learned about here on Earth.
When you consider the force of gravity with the distance to the center of a planet, you can create equations to figure out how much you would weigh at different places in the solar system. What you weigh on Earth is not necessarily what you would weigh on other planets with different gravitational forces. We know for certain that we weigh much less on the Moon because it has a different gravitational force than here on Earth.
Complete this table to compare how much you would weigh in the places listed, including the other planets in our solar system, as well as the Moon and Pluto. Based on this information, how would the gravitational force of other planets affect us visiting them in the future?