Space Environment

How does gravity work in space?

What is mass?

We use the word mass to talk about how much matter there is in something. (Matter is anything you can touch physically.) On Earth, we weigh things to figure out how much mass there is. The more matter there is, the more something will weigh. Often, the amount of mass something has is related to its size, but not always. A balloon blown up bigger than your head will still have less matter inside it than your head (for most people, anyhow) and therefore less mass.

The difference between mass and weight is that weight is determined by how much something is pulled by gravity. If we are comparing two different things to each other on Earth, they are pulled the same by gravity and so the one with more mass weighs more. But in space, where the pull of gravity is very small, something can have almost no weight. It still has matter in it, though, so it still has mass.

What is gravity?
Is there gravity in space?

Why is mass important?

Why do mass and distance affect gravity?