Answer the following question in detail.
Why an astronaut in an orbiting satellite has a feeling of weightlessness?
- For an astronaut, in a satellite, the net force towards the center of the Earth will always be, F = mg – N.
where, N is the normal reaction.
- In the case of a revolving satellite, the satellite is performing a circular motion. The acceleration for this motion is centripetal, which is provided by the gravitational acceleration g at the location of the satellite.
- In this case, the downward acceleration, ad = g, or the satellite (along with the astronaut) is in the state of free fall.
- Thus, the net force acting on astronaut will be, F = mg – mad = 0 i.e., the apparent weight will be zero, giving the feeling of total weightlessness.
Concept: Earth Satellites
Is there an error in this question or solution?