Answer the following question.
State the conditions for various possible orbits of satellite depending upon the horizontal speed of projection.
The path of the satellite depends upon the value of the horizontal speed of projection vh relative to critical velocity vc and escape velocity ve.
Case (I) vh < vc:
The orbit of the satellite is an ellipse with a point of projection as apogee and Earth at one of the foci. During this elliptical path, if the satellite passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, it experiences a nonconservative force of air resistance. As a result, it loses energy and spirals down to the Earth.
Case (II) vh = vc:
The satellite moves in a stable circular orbit around the Earth.
Case (III) vc < vh < ve:
The satellite moves in an elliptical orbit around the Earth with the point of projection as perigee.
Case (IV) vh = ve:
The satellite travels along the parabolic path and never returns to the point of projection. Its speed will be zero at infinity.
Case (V) vh > ve:
The satellite escapes from the gravitational influence of Earth traversing a hyperbolic path.