Want to win a PS4? Go Premium and enter to win our High-Tech Treats giveaway. Enter to Win

x
?
Solved

How does a object's velocity get transferred to the horizontal in a satellite launch?

Posted on 2013-11-10
6
Medium Priority
?
304 Views
Last Modified: 2013-11-11
I may not have this right but my understanding is that an object's velocity must be tangential, not perpendicular, to the earth's surface in order to achieve orbit. If that's correct then how is its direction shifted 90 degrees when it reaches its desired distance from the earth?

I'm assuming that this is relatively easy to do with a man-made powered object. Someone in Houston presses a button and before you know it you and I have satellite tv and radio. But what factors could fortuitously come together to cause the presumably quadrillions of orbiting objects in the universe to achieve perfectly "horizontal" trajectories around their host objects and thus achieve stable orbit?

Thanks,
John
0
Comment
Question by:gabrielPennyback
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
6 Comments
 
LVL 84

Assisted Solution

by:ozo
ozo earned 400 total points
ID: 39636664
Rockets.
And they usually start shifting the direction from the moment of launch.
(note that they start with the earth's rotational velocity)

For natural objects, they generally bounce off (or interact gravitationally with) other objects.
Some of which are thus ejected out of orbit, or fall out of orbit.
What's eventually left are the stable orbits.
0
 
LVL 84

Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 400 total points
ID: 39636689
Here's a page from NASA about putting rocket payloads into orbit: http://exploration.grc.nasa.gov/education/rocket/rktrflght.html

And here's one with a lot of math: http://www.braeunig.us/space/orbmech.htm 

Note that most orbits are not circular but at least somewhat elliptical.  Satellites that need to be in circular or more precise orbits have propulsion and guidance systems built into them.
0
 
LVL 27

Assisted Solution

by:tliotta
tliotta earned 400 total points
ID: 39636888
But what factors could fortuitously come together to cause the presumably quadrillions of orbiting objects in the universe to achieve perfectly "horizontal" trajectories around their host objects and thus achieve stable orbit?

One of the biggest factors is that most of the ones that did not achieve stable orbits long ago crashed into their parent stars or into other orbiting objects. That is, the destruction of "the many" left only "the few" that remain and that seem fortuitous.

Tom
0
Technology Partners: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

 
LVL 24

Assisted Solution

by:aadih
aadih earned 400 total points
ID: 39637010
< If that's correct then how is its direction shifted 90 degrees when it reaches its desired distance from the earth? >

Simple answer: Because of earth's gravity.
0
 
LVL 39

Accepted Solution

by:
hdhondt earned 400 total points
ID: 39637622
The solar system formed from the contraction of a cloud of gas and dust. As the cloud contracts, any rotation will be sped up, similar to the way the spin of an ice skater speeds up when she pulls in her arms. This happens because angular momentum is conserved.

Because the angular momentum of the cloud is distributed between the star and the dust around it, those particles that orbit roughly in the equatorial plane around the star will get most of the momentum and settle in an orbit around the star. The size of that orbit depends on the speed of the particle: if it has a higher speed it will move to a larger orbit, slower speeds move inwards.

In other words, an object will settle in an orbit appropriate for its speed. Some may fall into the star at the centre, others may be flung right out of the system, but some will have the right speeds to stay around the star and, as they collide and merge with each other, become planets.

The same reasoning applies at other scales as well. Planets and moons form in the same way, as do entire galaxies.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:gabrielPennyback
ID: 39640862
Great answers, thank you all! This is like a mini course on orbital mechanics. :- )
0

Featured Post

Tech or Treat! - Giveaway

Submit an article about your scariest tech experience—and the solution—and you’ll be automatically entered to win one of 4 fantastic tech gadgets.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

I've been asked to discuss some of the UX activities that I'm using with my team. Here I will share some details about how we approach UX projects.
In this article, I’ll show how research, determination, and use of modern technology helped me solve a DNA mystery.
The Bounty Board allows you to request an article or video on any technical topic, or fulfill a bounty request to earn points. Watch this video to learn how to use the Bounty Board to get the content you want, earn points, and browse submitted bount…
Where to go on the main page to find the job listings. How to apply to a job that you are interested in from the list that is featured on our Careers page.

604 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question