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International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope, and other objects in orbit
around the Earth.
Figure 13.9 (Example 13.5) A satellite of mass m moving around the Earth in a
circular orbit of radius r with constant speed υ. The only force acting on the satellite is
the gravitational force Fg . (Not drawn to scale.)
Categorize The satellite moves in a circular orbit at a constant speed. Therefore, we
categorize the satellite as a particle in uniform circular motion as well as a particle
under a net force.
Analyze The only external force acting on the satellite is the gravitational force from
the Earth, which acts toward the center of the Earth and keeps the satellite in its
circular orbit.
Apply the particle under a net force and particle in
Fg  ma  G
uniform circular motion models to the satellite:
Solve for υ, noting that the distance r from the
(1)  
center of the Earth to the satellite is r = RE + h:
2 
M Em

m
 
r2
 r 
GM E

r
GM E
RE  h
(B) If the satellite is to be geosynchronous (that is, appearing to remain over a fixed
position on the Earth), how fast is it moving through space?
SOLUTION