# Sputnik's period around the earth

• rainbowtits
In summary, to compute the period of Sputnik I, you can use the equation for centripetal force and compare its radius to that of the moon. Solve for the period using the formula F = 4(pi)mr^2/T and solve for the desired quantity.

## Homework Statement

Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite to circle the planet (October 1957) had a mean orbital radius of 6953 km. Compute its period

## Homework Equations

How do I compute the period?

## The Attempt at a Solution

I thought that the radii of the sputnik could be compared to that of the moon, and same tih the period.

All satellite/orbit solutions begin with
Centripetal Force = Force of gravity
Then put in the two force formulas. If you are interested in the period use the centripetal force formula that has period instead of velocity - something like F = 4(pi)mr^2/T (I probably have not remembered that exactly right!)

As usual, solve for the quantity you want to find.

I could use the formula for the period of a satellite, T= 2π√(r^3/GM), where r is the orbital radius, G is the gravitational constant, and M is the mass of the Earth. Plugging in the given values, the period of Sputnik I is approximately 96.2 minutes. This is significantly shorter than the average period of the moon, which is about 27 days. This highlights the difference between a low Earth orbit and a more distant orbit like that of the moon. Additionally, the period of Sputnik I also demonstrates the incredible speed at which it was traveling, completing a full orbit around the Earth in just over an hour and a half. This was a groundbreaking achievement in space exploration and marked the beginning of the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

## 1. What was the purpose of Sputnik's orbit around the Earth?

Sputnik's main purpose was to demonstrate the capabilities of the Soviet Union's space program and to pave the way for future space exploration and advancements in technology.

## 2. How long did Sputnik stay in orbit around the Earth?

The first Sputnik satellite remained in orbit for approximately 3 months, from October 4, 1957 to January 4, 1958.

## 3. Was Sputnik the first man-made object to orbit the Earth?

Yes, Sputnik was the first man-made object to successfully orbit the Earth. This marked a major milestone in human history and the beginning of the Space Age.

## 4. How did Sputnik's orbit around the Earth impact the Cold War?

The successful launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union sparked a space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. This competition had political, economic, and technological implications and was seen as a symbol of each nation's power and advancements in science and technology.

## 5. What were some of the key scientific discoveries made during Sputnik's orbit around the Earth?

Sputnik's orbit allowed for the collection of valuable data on the Earth's atmosphere, radiation levels in space, and the effects of microgravity on living organisms. This information helped pave the way for future space exploration and advancements in scientific understanding.