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Question: A satellite moves in a circular orbit around the Earth with speed
. Determine the satellite's altitude above the Earth's surface.
Determine the period of the satellite's orbit. The Earth's mass and radius are
Answer: The acceleration of the satellite towards the centre of the Earth
is , where is its orbital radius. This acceleration must be provided by the
due to the Earth's gravitational attraction.
The above expression can be rearranged to give
Thus, the satellite's altitude above the Earth's surface is
The satellite's orbital period is simply