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Homework Help: Gravitational Motion Satellite

  1. Nov 13, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    What is the weight of a 200 kg satellite 12.8 * 10^6 m above the surface of the Earth.

    2. Relevant equations
    F = mg

    3. The attempt at a solution
    F=200 (9.81)
    F = 1962 N

    I thought this was a basic weight problem, but I was confused on whether the height above the Earth affects the weight.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2012 #2


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    Homework Helper

    The gravitational force gets weaker as you go further out from the center of the Earth. The g = 9.81 value will not be accurate. You could use the basic gravitational force formula F = GMm/d² (M=mass of Earth, m = mass of satellite, d = distance from center of Earth to center of satellite) or you could use the F = mg with g = GM/d².
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