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Homework Help: Satellite orbital speed homework

  1. Mar 8, 2010 #1
    1. A satellite has an orbital speed of 4.2 x 10^3 m/s. What is its altitude above Earth's surface?
    mass of earth= 5.98x10^24kg
    radius of earth = 6.38x10^6m

    2. acceleration and force are both centripetal
    a=(v^2)/r
    F=ma
    possibly v^2=(Gmg)/r

    3. Need help with algebra
    h= distance from earth surface to satellite
    I got h= [(4.2x10^3)^2/a] - 6.38x10^6
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2010 #2
    Re: Orbits

    Use the fact that to remain in a circular orbit, the gravitational force must equal the centripetal force.

    You do not need to know acceleration of the satelite
     
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