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Law of Gravitation Please Help

  1. May 31, 2003 #1
    In the following problem, I got that the velocity is 5609m/s but the answer key says that the velocity of the rocket is 3950m/s. I know both answers can be calculated but I dont understand why the radial distance would be the distance from the rocket to the earths surface. I personally think that the velocity of the rocket should be calculated in respect to the center of the mass that is is orbiting around. Could some please tell me if I am right, it would be greatly appreciated. Oh yeah, and I got the correct force which is F=12268.1N. Once again, thanks for any help provided in advance

    Here's part of the problem:

    1. A 5000 kg rocket orbits the earth at an altitude above the earth’s surface equal to the radius of the earth[R_earth=6.4*10^6m].
    a. Calculate the force exerted on the rocket by the earth.
    b. Calculate:
    i. the velocity of the rocket
  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2003 #2
    Did you try to equate needed for orbiting centripetal acceleration v2/r to the acceleration of gravity g/4 at that distance? It comes right, v~4 km/sec
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