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Homework Help: Weight of Satellite around earth

  1. Sep 25, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A satellite sitting on the ground has a weight of 5000 N. When it is placed in orbit 500 km above the surface of the Earth (which has a radius of 6380 km), which choice best describes its weight?

    Very small but slightly greater than zero.


    Still 5000 N.

    Slightly less than 5000 N.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Do I use the equation W=G(Me m/ r^2)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2012 #2
  4. Sep 25, 2012 #3


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ah, but how much do you weigh when you're in freefall?
    In other words, imagine weighing yourself in the ISS. What would the spring scale read?
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