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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?

  • Physics -

    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.

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