Basic Astrodynamics

1. Nov 11, 2015

BaryS

Using the well established classical equation to determine the sum of kinetic and potential energies of a satellite at two different altitudes, the result is a lower total energy at the higher altitude. Since the speed is less and the height is greater I think I understand this result. Yet I would have thought it would take more energy to place a satellite in a higher orbit. What am I missing in this understanding?

2. Nov 11, 2015

phyzguy

I think you've made a mistake. The total energy is in fact higher in a higher orbit. Remember that the potential energy is negative. Can you write down the kinetic, potential, and total energy for a circular orbit as a function of r?

3. Nov 11, 2015

BaryS

You are right, I searched and found a calculation error - thanks.