Many people believe that orbiting astronauts feel weightless because they are “beyond the pull of the earth’s gravity.” How far from the earth would a spacecraft have to travel to be truly beyond the earth’s gravitational influence? If a spacecraft were really unaffected by the earth’s gravity, would it remain in orbit? Explain. What is the real reason astronauts in orbit feel weightless?
Step 1: The spacecraft would travel infinitely long distance from Earth to experience zero gravitational pull.