Astronomy
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Artificial Satellites

# Why does a satellite in orbit around the earth not fall into the earth?

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###### 2013-01-09 13:53:44

Anything in "orbit" is falling into the object that its orbiting ... and constantly missing.

Because by the time the (orbiting) object has fallen far enough to hit ...

the object it is orbiting has moved far enough so that they miss each other.

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## Related Questions

The tremendous velocity of the satellite perpendicular to the gravitational force of Earth means that a satellite will continuously "fall" toward Earth without impacting it.

The radius of earth is about 6400 km and for satellite to rotate around earth it's height must be greater than 36000 km for not to fall therefore orbit radius for such a satellite must be 6400+36000 = 42400 from the centre of earth

Well because of its forward motion. The definition of gravity is an attraction between 2 or more objects. The gravity from Earth is pulling the satellite towards earth or it is falling down. Now it becomes awkward..... The forward motion of the satellite will make itself fall around the Earth or it goes in an orbit.HOPE I HELPED!!!!!

Satellites in orbit around Earth are in a continuous fall toward Earth, but because Earth is curved they travel around it. In other words, a satellite is a falling projectile that keeps missing the ground.

because it is just far away from earth that it doesn't get hit by earths gravity but is still in orbit

Satellites orbit the earth for a few years then fall to earth however they are directed to fall to the sea

Here's one qualitative way to think about it:The satellite IS falling toward the Earth. But, as you may recall, the Earth is roundlike a ball, and the surface of the Earth curves away from the satellite just as fastas the satellite falls. So the satellite just keeps falling around the Earth, and nevergets any closer to the surface.

Because it has an angular velocity perpendicular to the planets surface. There is not much to slow the satellite down as at very high altitudes there is little or no air to cause drag.

the satellite is throne in orbit with such a specific speed that centrifugal force on it is balanced by centripital force due to gravity on it so it becomes stable...

If you have a lot of time, and a huge amount of expendable cash, you can place a reasonably massive satellite in orbit under the spoon. Over time the satellite's gravity will pull the spoon's orbit lower and lower. Eventually the spoon's orbit will decay and it will drop toward earth. Just wait. It will end up on Earth eventually. The satellite is already in orbit and will eventually fall into the atmosphere. Anything that falls off the satellite is going to eventually go 'down' to Earth.

Any orbit is a balance between the speed of the object and gravity. Gravity pulls the satellite DOWN, but the object is going so fast that by the time it falls back to Earth, it has already gone so far "downrange" that the satellite has missed the Earth. And it keeps on missing! That's why scientists call it "free-fall" rather than "weightlessness"; the satellite still has its normal weight, but is falling AROUND the planet.

Technically, a satellite in free-fall (and orbit is a special case of "free-fall") is effectively weightless. What we call weight is the force of the RESISTANCE to gravity; I "weigh" 220 pounds because I an standing on the Earth. The satellite has its own mass, and this can be anything from "tiny" to "enormous".

No, a moon is a natuaral satellite and would always be in orbit around a planet. If it did'nt orbit the planet it would fall into the planet.

A rocket can rise into the air because the gases it expels with a downward action force exert an equal but opposite reaction force on the rocket. Satellites in orbit around Earth continuously fall toward Earth, but because Earth is curved they travel around it.

They do 'fall'. However due to the rate of advance in their orbit they fall 'around' the earth and not directly towards it. NO THEY DO NOT FALL. THEY ARE STUCK IN geosynchronous orbit , WHICH MEANS THE GRAVITATIONAL PULL OF THE EARTH KEEPS IT ORBITING IN TIME WITH THE EARTH. FROM XRALLY

It would fall vertically towards the Earth. Think of a satellite as a ball on the end of a string. Holding the end of the string, your hand is the earth and the ball is the satellite. If you swing it round in a circle, the ball stays up when it goes up if you go fast enough. If you slow down, or stop, the ball will fall down towards the actual earth because that is where gravity is pulling. In our model, it would fall to your hand (the earth).

They fall. All satellites are in an orbital free-fall state.

Atmospheric friction would slow the satellite down and cause it to fall. Also; it would crash into mountains.

I think that satellites in orbit around Earth continuously fall toward Earth, but because Earth is curved they travel around it. I am not sure x3

Yes, but they do not "feel" gravity, because they are falling - "free fall" in orbit around the Earth.

A satellite has to maintain a constant velocity of 8000 m/s in order to stay in Earth's orbit. If it gains mass or slows down at all, it will fall back into Earth's atmosphere.

Scientists must carefully set the right orbital speed for a satellite that will be orbiting Earth, so that it will orbit correctly. The wrong speed will have the satellite move too fast, or too slow, skewing information and possibly causing the satellite to fall out of orbit and back to the planet's surface.

If a satellite hits any other objects its orbit decays and falls back to the earth. The atmosphere extends (although it does get VERY thin) hundreds of miles above the surface of our planet. The few molecules of gas at satellite orbit altitudes ARE enough to slow a satellite down and cause it to fall to the ground.

. The speed of the satellite is adjusted so that it falls to earth at the same rate that the curve of the earth falls away from the satellite. The satellite is perpetually falling, but it never hits the ground!

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