Main Question or Discussion Point
In order for a satelite to achieve an orbit around the earth the centripetal force of it needs to be exactly the same as the force of gravitation which is acting upon the satelite. Why is this so?
I can nicely see where your getting at CWatters! I was wondering if this might mean mean that the centripetal acceleration of a satelite travelling in its orbit would be the same as the gravitational acceleration provided by the planet it is orbiting?Centripetal acceleration is the name given to an acceleration that causes an object to move in a curved path.
In the case of a satelite gravity provids the centripetal acceleration. So gravity is allways "the same" as the centripetal acceleration (except perhaps when thrusters are being fired but lets ignore that).
So for a stable circular orbit gravity must provide exactly that acceleration. If it was more or less than that value the path wouldn't be circular.