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Explain Why an Astronaut in an Orbiting Satellite Has a Feeling of Weightlessness. - Physics

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Explain why an astronaut in an orbiting satellite has a feeling of weightlessness.

Discuss the weightlessness experienced by an astronaut in an orbiting satellite.

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Solution

When an astronaut is in an orbiting satellite, the astronaut and satellite are attracted towards the centre of the Earth and both will fall towards the Earth with the same acceleration. This acceleration is the same as ‘g’ at the satellite. Thus, the astronaut is unable to exert weight on the floor of the satellite. Because of this, the satellite does not provide a normal reaction on the astronaut, and hence, the astronaut feels weightlessness.

Concept: Weightlessness
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