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Satelite Questions

  1. Sep 2, 2005 #1
    I want to know that what provide the tangetial speed of satelite.
    Is it the satelites have a engine that provide its tangetial speed or the gravitational field strength that provide the tangetial speed ?
    Please explain clearly or provide the links that explain this .
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2005 #2
    Satellite orbiting around earth free falls under gravity . Earth's Gravitational Force tries to pull satellite towards itself , and thus the satellite keeps falling from the straightline path that it otherwise would have taken in absence of earth's Gravitational Pull.When a satellite is launched , its gravitational potential energy is changed into K.E , and the initial velocity given to satellite is given in accordance with the height at which it is to be placed , so that a particular height it starts orbiting.Now the tangential velocity it once acquires is maintained by the circular motion it possesses .Wor done by earth's gravitational force is zero in this case and thus the change in K.E in circular orbit is also zero.So the satellite comes to an orbit with a particular velocity which is then maintained in circular motion.

  4. Sep 3, 2005 #3
    Can you explain clearly
  5. Sep 3, 2005 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    It is the speed orginally given to the satellite in putting into orbit. Once the satellite is in orbit there is only the force of gravity acting on it (ignoring slight resistance from a few atoms at that height) and that is perpendicular to the orbit (assuming an near circular orbit) and so does not affect the speed.
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