Questions & Answers


Communications satellites are placed in circular orbits where they stay directly over a fixed point on the equator as the earth rotates. These are called geosynchronous orbits. The altitude of a geosynchronous orbit is \(3.58 \times 10^{7} \mathrm{~m}\) ( \(\approx 22,000\) miles).

a. What is the period of a satellite in a geosynchronous orbit?

b. Find the value of \(g\) at this altitude.

c. What is the weight of a \(2000 \mathrm{~kg}\) satellite in a geosynchronous orbit?


Step 1 of 3

Part a

A geosynchronous satellite takes 24 hours to orbit once around the Earth. This is the same as the Earth takes to complete one rotation about its axis.

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