1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Force of Gravity?

  1. Jul 4, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    An astronaut weighs 900 N when measured on the surface of Earth. How large would the force of gravity be if he were in an Earth Satellite at an altitude equal to Earth's radius?

    The correct answer is 225 N. However, I need to know the exact steps taken to get the answer. I already tried many methods and I would appreciate somebody explaining it to me.

    2. Relevant equations

    I used F=Gm1m2/r^2

    and w=mg

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I plugged everything into above equation and got wrong answer. Correct answer is 225N which I cannot figure out.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2009 #2
    F = 900N = Gm1m2/r^2 when r is equal to Earth's radius

    On a satellite at an altitude equal to Earth's radius, the distance between the astronaut and the centre of the Earth is doubled, so...

    Answer = Gm1m2/(2r)^2 = (Gm1m2/r^2)/4 = 900/4 = 225 Newtons

    Not taking the radius of the Earth into account with the calculations is a common mistake.
  4. Jul 4, 2009 #3
    thanks, yeah i missed out on the radius of earth
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook