Space Environment

How does gravity work in space?

What is a gravity well?

A gravity well is the pull of gravity that a large body in space exerts. The larger the body (the more mass) the more of a gravity well it has. The Sun has a large (or deep) gravity well. Asteroids and small moons have much shallower gravity wells. Anything on a planet or moon is considered to be at the bottom of the gravity well. Entering space from the surface of a planet or moon means climbing out of the gravity well, something that often takes a huge amount of energy. The larger a planet or moon's gravity well is, the more energy it takes to achieve escape velocity and blast a ship off of it.

What is gravity?
Is there gravity in space?
How did DS1 get into space?
How do we put a spacecraft into orbit?

What is mass?
What is escape velocity?
Why does it take so much energy to launch DS1?
Why is it a good idea to launch a ship into orbit from near the equator?

Why do mass and distance affect gravity?
What could cause an orbit to fail?