Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Escape Velocity

  1. Dec 1, 2015 #1
    If we provide a satellite with escape velocity perpendicular to the earth(radially), would it start orbiting it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 1, 2015 #2
    No. Do you understand what escape velocity is?
    I'm guessing that you were shown escape velocity as it applied to a horizontal trajectory. But any trajectory that does not collide with anything will result in escape.
  4. Dec 1, 2015 #3
    If it is travelling at escape velocity, it is by definition not able to maintain a stable orbit and must eventually escape from the Earth's field of gravity.
  5. Dec 1, 2015 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    No, it would quickly disintegrate due to friction with the Earth's atmosphere.

    Disregarding that fact: No, if it has escape velocity or higher it will never return to Earth. If it has a lower velocity, it will (unless you change its direction at some point).
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook