3.20 uniform circular motion

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  • There once was a woman who dreamt of launching a satellite into Earth's orbit.
  • She dedicated most of her time studying the different forces that applied to objects in outer space.
  • I wonder what I have to do to keep my satellite in uniform circular motion, the motion of an object in a circle at a constant speed, around earth?
  • She realized that the forces governing the earth, moon, and other planets, which are all natural satellites, would also apply to her satellite!
  • For her satellite to orbit the earth, it would have to travel a horizontal distance of 8000 meters before falling a vertical distance of 5 meters. Because of the earth's curve, the satellite would remain the same distance above the earth.
  • The net force that keeps the satellite orbiting earth is caused by gravity, creating an inward or centripetal force. The orbit makes the satellite have a tangential velocity, meaning that the direction of the velocity vector at any instant is in the direction of a tangent line drawn to the circle (orbit) at the object's location.
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