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This question may have been answered already with a great deal of math equations that I'll never understand. Anyway, I have read if you throw a rock from an orbiter toward the orbited airless planet or satellite the rock will eventually come back to you. Something to do with the conservation of energy.

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Not if the stone hits the planet but if the stone is thrown just right so that it orbits the planet it would come back in an elliptic orbit.

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  • $\begingroup$ Just found an answer in Quora. Very interesting: quora.com/… $\endgroup$
    – Ru Ko
    Nov 29, 2016 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ Yes so like I said it goes into an elliptical orbit and comes back. In your first question you mentioned a planet without an atmosphere so technically if you threw the screwdriver hard enough it could come close to the surface and come back in and elliptical orbit. As long as it doesn't hit the planet it works. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2016 at 19:08
  • $\begingroup$ The reason I mentioned a planet or satellite with no atmosphere is to eliminate drag interference and "as long as it doesn't hit the surface of the planet" is a given I believe. $\endgroup$
    – Ru Ko
    Nov 29, 2016 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ So my answer is correct. Another way to look at it is to take an object in a perfectly circular orbit and bump it toward or away from the planet. The object will immediately go into an elliptic orbit returning to that spot or elevation. $\endgroup$ Nov 29, 2016 at 22:59
  • $\begingroup$ Yes your answer was correct in that it does happen. The answer in Quora explains why it happens. $\endgroup$
    – Ru Ko
    Nov 30, 2016 at 19:50

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