Right now, for the first time in Olympic history, women are taking to the ski jumping slopes to compete for Olympic gold. If they were on the Moon how far might they fly?
Would they surpass the Moon’s escape velocity and go soaring through space? Or would they manage to circle around the circumference of the Moon before landing? Neither. The provocative, counterintuitive answer is that they would travel about the same distance!

The Holmenkillen ski Jump in Oslo, Norway. Credit: Mathias Stang 
The women are competing on the smaller of the two hills, the normal hill, at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center. The center’s normal hill is a K95. The K stands for K point, or critical point, which is a target for skiers, and the 95 means that the target point is 95 meters away from the launch point.
If skiers jump a distance of exactly 95 meters (about 312 feet) then they earn 60 points. They are either awarded or penalized points for how many meters they surpass or fall short of the K point.
Ski jumpers have a number of tactics they use to make sure they fly longer and farther than any of their competitors. Ski length, body position, weight, strength and air resistance are some of the factors that determine how fast the skier flies off the ramp, how long they’re in the air and how far they travel.
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