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Re: Regarding Your Satellite.

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Posted by yelmalio/">yelmalio on November 15, 1999 14:12:38 UTC

: : Please correct me if i'm wrong guys. Didn't we send up a satellite up a year ago that is to orbit at a distance between the Earth and sun so that it doesn't have to spend a lot fuel maintaining its orbit. The gravitational pull of the Earth and the sun will cancel each other out.?

They don't cancel each other. The attraction from the Earth is the same as from the Sun. This is called a LaGrange point, named after the mathematician who solved the 3-Body problem and showed that there where areas of stability were an object could maintain an orbit with minimal energy expenditure. The Jovian asteroids near to Jupiter occupy a LaGrange point for Jupiter.

The satellite is SOHO.

Once the satellite moved to the side of the earth away from the sun the effect you describe would be lost, and the craft would slip off into space or fall back to earth. Orbiting is a matter of how high you put it and how fast it travels. Too slow, it falls to earth. Too fast it flies off into space.

But if at a LaGrange point you don't need as much energy to keep up as the sum of gravitational forces acting on you is near zero.

Yelmalio

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