• Weightlessness Condition in Orbit



  • Weightlessness is a condition of free fall, in which the effect of gravity is cancelled by the inertial (e.g., centrifugal) force resulting from the orbital flight. There is no force of gravity acting on the objects.

  • It is the condition in which the body does not feel its weight at all.

  • When an apple falls from a tree it won’t feel its weight. This condition experienced by anybody while in free-fall is known as weightlessness

Examples:- When we throw an object from the top of the building, the object experiences free fall, that is the object is not under any force. This is weightlessness.

Weightlessness in the orbital motion of satellites

  • In the case of a satellite that is rotating around the earth.

  • There is an acceleration that is acting towards the center of the Earth.

  • This acceleration is known as centripetal acceleration (ac).

  • There is also earth’s acceleration which is balancing this centripetal acceleration.

  • g=ac they are equal in magnitude and they are balancing each other.

  • Inside the satellites, there is no acceleration which means everything is moving with uniform velocity.

  • Inside an orbiting satellite, weightlessness is experienced.

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