Maharashtra State BoardHSC Science (General) 11th
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Answer the following question in detail. Why an astronaut in an orbiting satellite has a feeling of weightlessness? - Physics

Short Note

Answer the following question in detail.

Why an astronaut in an orbiting satellite has a feeling of weightlessness?

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Solution

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In this case, the downward acceleration, ad = g, or the satellite (along with the astronaut) is in the state of free fall.
  4. 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
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APPEARS IN

Balbharati Physics 11th Standard Maharashtra State Board
Chapter 5 Gravitation
Exercises | Q 3. (vi) | Page 98
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