Posted by Carley on .
Typically satellites orbit around 400 above the surface of the earth. If an astronaut weighs 600 on the ground, what will he weigh if he is 400 above the surface?
For any one body, the gravitational constant, GM , and your reference mass, m, remain constant. Therefore, you can derive your apparant weight at high altitudes from W = Wo(Ro/R)^2 where Wo = your refernce weight on the body surface, R = the altitude at which the new weight is desired and Ro = the radius of the body surface. Thus, on earth, W = Wo(3963/(3963 + h)^2 where Ro = the earth's radius and h = the height above the earth's surface, in miles.