Does it take less time to fly to a #SuperMoon?

We were tweeting a bit earlier on today’s #SuperMoon, when we spotted this query from @aidengardiner:

We passed Aiden’s query to ESA mission analyst Michael Khan, here at ESOC, who sent in this reply:

Yes it would, but not much.

However, it is irrelevant whether there is a Supermoon, as long as the Moon is at perigee at the time of arrival. The phase of the moon doesn’t matter.

A transfer that leads to arrival at the closest point to the Earth on the Moon would not be the most popular though, even if the transfer is a little bit shorter. Arriving at perigee of the Moon orbit also means that the insertion manoeuvre would be a bit larger, which is unwelcome and arguably more important than a slightly shorter travel time.

And while we’re on the topic here is the excellent #SuperMoon ISS transit images captured by Stefan Gotthold (@ClearSkyBlog) in Berlin today!


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