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Trying to find orbital velocity based off of height

  1. Mar 7, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A Titan IV rocket has put your spacecraft in circular orbit around Earth at an altitude of 397 km. What is your orbital velocity? Give your answer in m/s.


    2. Relevant equations

    http://as370.socialhwk.com/engr370i/ch04/ch4_3/IMG00015.GIF [Broken]
    http://as370.socialhwk.com/engr370i/ch04/ch4_3/IMG00016.GIF [Broken]

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I have been attempting to take the online midterm for the class but I have been having issues. Every answer I have inputed for the first question comes out as incorrect.
    When using this formula and substituting 500km for 397km for the midterm I get: 7688.328079. I have tried inputing this in as many variations as possible but am told it is incorrect every time.


    I have also tried using an online orbital velocity calculator to confirm my math and I receive the answer 7673.24507 which also does not work.

    I'm completely stuck and cannot progress with the test. I was wondering if there was something I was doing wrong or if there was an issue with the midterm.



    also if it helps, the professor has included a midterm review which he has posted a similar problem with the answer, but not how he got the answer:

    A Titan IV rocket has put your spacecraft in circular orbit around Earth at an altitude of 350 km. What is your orbital velocity? Give your answer in m/s.

    Answer: V = 7697.5 m/s
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2013 #2

    SteamKing

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    Try using GM = 398600 km^3/s^2 for earth to calculate orbital velocity.

    V will have units of km/s, so convert to m/s
     
  4. Mar 7, 2013 #3

    if i did it right, i got 7.674861 km/s or 7674.861 m/s, however, it is telling me it is also wrong...
     
  5. Mar 7, 2013 #4

    haruspex

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    Looks to me that you're just a bit inaccurate somewhere. Using GM = 3.98E14 I get:
    397km: 7673 m/s
    500km: 7615m/s
    350km: 7700m/s
     
  6. Mar 8, 2013 #5
    Hmm, but what i dont understand is, you got 7700 m/s for 350 and for the example problem, it says 7697.5. Is the teacher doing something differently?
     
  7. Mar 8, 2013 #6

    haruspex

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    That's only a 0.03% difference (2.5km). The radius of the Earth is not that precisely definable - it varies by 30km. I would argue that 7697.5 is wrong in that it overstates the precision.
     
  8. Mar 9, 2013 #7
    Yea i understand what you mean, but the problem is that the test is online and unless I get the precise answer, I can't move on to the next question. which is a terrible system. I guess I need to find out what constants the professor used to reach that number in the example problem.
     
  9. Mar 9, 2013 #8
    i ended up solving backwards for the constant he used and got 6,400^3. I used that in the problem and got the right answer. Thanks for the help though.
     
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