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The Apollo 8 mission in 1968 included a circular orbit at an altitude of 111 km above the Moon’s surface. What was the period of this orbit? The Moon’s mass is Mm=7.35E22 kg and its radius is Rm= 1.74E6 m

  • Physics -

    You need the orbit radius, and that is
    R = 1.74*10^6 m + 0.111*10^6 m
    = 1.85*10^6 m

    Gravity pull = centripetal force

    G*Mm*m/R^2 = m*V^2/R

    Satellite mass m cancels out.

    V = sqrt(G*Mm/R)

    Period = 2 pi R/V

    Substitute the previous equation for R.

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