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March 25, 2017

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A satellite has a mass of 6146 kg and is in a circular orbit 4.57 × 105 m above the surface of a planet. The period of the orbit is 1.6 hours. The radius of the planet is 4.44 × 106 m. What would be the true weight of the satellite if it were at rest on the planet’s surface?

What do I use to find the mass of the unknown planet?

  • Physics - ,

    The final equation to use is: W=(GmM)/r^2
    m=mass of satelite
    M=mass of planet

    What is the equation to find the mass of the planet?

  • Physics - ,

    The weight of the planet in orbit is
    W = M V^2/R
    where R = 4.57*10^5 m and V is the velocity at that altitude,
    V = 2 pi R/(period).
    Calculate W.

    The weight W' of the satellite at the planet's surface is

    W'/W = (4.44*10^6/4.57*10^5)^2
    because weight is inversely proportional to the square of distance.

    The number you want is W'

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