March 27, 2017

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A 3300kg satellite is traveling 3550 km above the Earth's surface. Calculate the velocity and period of the satellite.

  • PHYSICS FINAL (orbital) - ,

    The satellite's mass doesn't matter.
    You will need to use the fact that the Earth's radius is 6371 km. The satellite is therefore 9921 km from the Earth's center. The value of the acceleration of gravity (g') there is
    g' = g*(6371/9921)^2 = 4.046 m/s^2
    where g = 9.81 m/s^2 is the value of the acceleration at the Earth's surface.

    You can get the velocity V by using

    V^2/R = g'
    V = 6335 m/s

    The period P of the satellite is given by
    V*P = 2*pi*R
    P = 9840 s = 2.73 hours

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