Asked by midhunkrishna | 4th Dec, 2009, 09:23: PM

Expert Answer:

Hi dear,

To get from the surface of earth or moon,into orbit around earth, requires energy in two forms.

1. Energy to rise above the surface i.e potential energy

2. Energy to stay up there without falling down, that is aquiring the speed to go into a circular orbit ,i.e, kinetic energy. In a circular orbit, gravity is countered by the centrifugal force constantly.

Notably, when the space shuttle goes into low earth orbit, arounf 500 km up, only about 7% of theoretical value of energy required goes into lifting it to that height (potential energy)

About 93% of energy goes into accelarating the space shuttle to a speed where it goes into a circular orbit (kinetic energy)

The space shuttle can go 500 km and dosen't have the capability to go higher than that - energy -wise.Roughly half- the energy to get the geo synchronous orbit is consumed in just getting to an orbital speed.


Hope this helped.



Answered by  | 25th Dec, 2009, 02:15: PM

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