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At what speed must a satellite of a mass M be launched horizontally at the surface of the earth if it's orbit is to be a circle just grazing the highest mountains?( assume no air resistance). How much time would elapse between successive passes of this imaginary satillite?

  • Physics -

    Having been a member of the Southwestern Rocket Society in its infant days, we learned that launching rockets horizontally was dangerous.

    At the altidude of the highest mountains, say 10^4 meters, then

    the gravitational field strength g, is given by
    9.8Nt/kg * (re/(re+10^4))^2
    look up the radius of the earth re, in meters, and you have that part.
    Then that gravational field strength mus be equal to centripetal acceleration, which is

    acceleartion= V^2/(re+10^4) where
    v is 2PI(re+10^4)/Period

    set them equal, solve for Period.

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