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Apparent Weightlessness

  1. Oct 15, 2012 #1
    Is it important that a shuttle surrounds the earth in an circular orbit in order the astronauts (and the shuttle itself) to have 0 apparent weight and so be considered as in state of apparent weightlessness?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2012 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    No, as long as they are in freefall at all, in an elliptic orbit, or a parabolic curve that will return to earth, both astronauts and shuttle are falling at the same acceleration and so weightless.
     
  4. Oct 15, 2012 #3
    I don't think it was a part of anybody's design constraints to achieve apparent weightlessness on the Shuttle. That was just a consequence of achieving a stable orbit.
     
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