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Satellite Acceleration Problem

  1. Apr 11, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Synchronus communications satellites are placed in a circular orbit that is 3.59 x 107 m above the earth's surface. What is the magnitude of the acceleration due to gravity at this distance?

    G=6.67259 x 10-11 N*m2/kg2
    ME (Mass of Earth)= 5.98 x 1024 kg
    r = 3.59 x107m

    2. Relevant equations

    F = (G*m1*m2)/(r2)
    F = MA

    3. The attempt at a solution

    1) F = G * (ME2/r2) = 1.8514...N
    2)F = MA --> (1.8514...N) = (5.98 x 1024)A
    3) A = 0.309 m/s2

    CORRECT ANSWER: 0.233 m/s2
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2008 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    In Newton's law of gravity, r is the distance from the center of the earth, not the distance from the surface.
  4. Apr 11, 2008 #3
    Ah, there's the problem. :P

    Thanks. :D
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