Science
​A satellite has a mass of 94 kg and is located at 1.96 106 m above the surface

Question Description

A satellite has a mass of 94 kg and is located at 1.96  106 m above the surface of Earth.

(a) What is the potential energy associated with the satellite at this location?

(b) What is the magnitude of the gravitational force on the satellite?

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Final Answer


a) U = m g' (R + h) – m g R = m g R²/(R+h) – m g R 

U = m g R (R/(R+h) – 1) = - m g R h/(R+h) 

U = - 94 * 9.8 * 6371000 * 1.97 10^6/(6371000 + 1.97 10^6) 

U =  1386148117.01 J

      = - 1386.15 * 10^6 J 

b) The acceleration due to gravity at sea level is: 

g = G M/R² 

R = Earth's radius 

At h = 1.96 *10^6 m of altitude: 

g' = G M/(R+h)² 

By dividing the equations: 

g'/g = R²/(R+h)² 

g' = g R²/(R+h)² 

F = m g' = m g R²/(R+h)² = 94 * 9.8 * 6371000²/(6371000 + 1.97*10^6)² 

F = 537.44 N 

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I'm always happy to answer your questions.

Gopal_R (1109)
Duke University

Anonymous
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