# Is Launching a Satellite Eastward More Efficient Due to Earth's Rotation?

• Soaring Crane
In summary, the conversation discusses the advantages of launching satellites into an eastward orbit due to the Earth's rotation and the impact of mass on the speed of objects in orbit. It is concluded that the Earth's rotation provides an extra velocity in the eastward direction and the speed of objects in orbit is independent of their mass. Therefore, both satellites A and T will have the same speed in the same orbit.
Soaring Crane
1. A newspaper article discussing the space program noted that it is easier to launch a satellite into an eastward orbit tan into a westward orbit. Is this true?

a.No, this is not true because it is the upward component of velocity that is important in reaching an orbit, not the horizontal component east and west.

b.No, this is not true because the kinetic energy of the launch vehicle is independent of the direction in which it is launched.

c.No, this is not true because launching toward the east means an event greater speed needed to attain orbiting speed due to the earth’s rotation.

d.Yes, this is true because launching in the east reduces wind resistance.

e.Yes, this is true because the earth’s rotation toward the east gives the satellite added speed, thereby reducing the speed required with respect to the Earth if orbital velocity is to be attained.

I am uncertain of this one. Is the answer E.? I know the Earth's rotation is eastward, but I do not know if the Earth's rotation affects the satellite as described in E.

2. Satellite A has twice the mass of satellite T, and rotates in the same orbit. Which of the following is true?
a.The speed of T is one-fourth the speed of A.
b.The speed of T is half the speed of A.
c.The speed of T is twice the speed of A.
d.The speed of T is three-fourths the speed of A.
e.The speed of T is equal to speed of A.

I used the circular orbit formula v = sqrt(G*m_earth)/r. The mass of the satellite is not included, so will it be E. both speeds are equal to each other?

Thanks.

1E. The Earth is a sphere, and rotates with a certain angular velocity. Thus, launching objects with the direction of velocity due to rotation gives it a "free" extra velocity in that direction. The velocity of rotation is greatest where the Earth's radius is largest, which is at the equator. So that's why many launch sites are places as close to the equator as possible.

2E. Write the equation for v for both satellites. Turns out it's the same and thus independent of the mass. The speeds will therefore also be the same.

1st one seems alright. For the 2nd 1 equate centripetal force on the individual satellites and the gravitational force exerted on them since they are 1 and the same. You should find that for each case the masses cancel out.

## 1. What is satellite motion?

Satellite motion refers to the movement of an object around a larger object in a specific path, usually in a circular or elliptical orbit. In the context of space, this often refers to man-made objects that orbit around Earth, providing important services such as communication, weather monitoring, and navigation.

## 2. How do satellites stay in orbit?

Satellites stay in orbit due to the balance between the centripetal force, which pulls the satellite towards the center of its orbit, and the gravitational force, which pulls the satellite towards the larger object it is orbiting. As long as these forces are balanced, the satellite will continue to orbit in a stable path.

## 3. What affects the motion of satellites?

The motion of satellites can be affected by several factors, including the gravitational pull of other objects, atmospheric drag, and solar radiation pressure. These factors can cause changes in the satellite's speed, direction, and orbit shape.

## 4. How do scientists track satellite motion?

Scientists use a combination of ground-based tracking stations and onboard sensors to track satellite motion. Ground stations use radar and telescopes to monitor the position and speed of the satellite, while onboard sensors such as gyroscopes and accelerometers provide real-time data on the satellite's motion.

## 5. Can satellites collide with each other?

Yes, satellites can collide with each other if they are in the same orbit or if their orbits intersect. To prevent collisions, scientists and engineers carefully plan and monitor the trajectories of satellites and use systems such as thrusters to adjust their orbits if necessary.

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