physics (Mathmate)

The space shuttle is in a 250 mile high orbit. What are the shuttle's orbital period, in minutes and its speed?

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asked by MD
  1. Equate the gravitational force, given by
    F=GMm/r²
    and the centrifugal force due to the angular velocity ω
    F=mrω²

    In SI units,
    G = 6.674×10−11 N m² kg -2
    Mass of the earth = 6*1024 kg (approx.)
    r = 250 miles plus the radius of the earth to be converted to metres.
    The formula for both gravitation and centrifugal force use r from the centre of the earth.

    Solve for ω and calculate the period and speed.

    The shuttle's mass, m, is immaterial since it will cancel out on both sides of the equation.

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    posted by MathMate

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