[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] - [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

*Subject*: [sarex] Station Weight*From*: "James Alderman, KF5WT" <res06u61@xxxxxxx>*Date*: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 23:32:33 -0600

I believe I remember that it was mentioned a couple of days ago that the space station's orbit is altered a bit when the shuttle docks with it because the MASS of the shuttle is added to that of the ISS. I'm left to assume that you're saying that the weight of an object in orbit has some effect on the orbital speed. I have wondered about this. From high school physics I thought I remembered that the weight of a satellite didn't matter a whit. Only the altitude above the earth had any bearing on the orbital speed. So I decided to do some digging. >From a physics book I found a formula that tells you how fast an object in orbit must go in order to stay up. Too fast and it flies away; too slow and it falls back to earth. I can't type out the formula as it appears in the physics book, but I'll describe it. First you take the gravitational constant and multiply it by the mass of the earth. This figure always comes out to be 4.002 X 10 to the 14th power. This figure goes on the top of a fraction bar. Beneath the fraction bar you have the orbital radius, which is the radius of the earth plus the altitude of the satellite. Once that fraction is worked out to a whole number, you take the square root of it. That gives you the velocity of the satellite. That's how fast if must go to maintain orbit. Perhaps the weight of the satellite doesn't appear in this formula because it's negligible compared to the mass of the earth. My question is this: Does the weight of the shuttle really make any difference when it becomes part of the space station? Your orbital mechanics lessons are appreciated. 73, James Alderman, KF5WT Dallas, TX USA ---- Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA. To unsubscribe, send "unsubscribe sarex" to Majordomo@amsat.org

- Prev by Date:
**Re: ISS School Contact Info?** - Next by Date:
**HELP! Shep's Alma Mater trying to contact him!** - Prev by thread:
**Re: ISS School Contact Info?** - Next by thread:
**Next School Group Contact** - Index(es):