Weightlessness in Orbit

A person feels weightless in orbit simply because he or she is in free fall along with the satellite and experiences no force of support from the satellite. The perception of weight comes from the support force exerted upon us by the floor, a chair, etc. If that support force is removed and we are in free fall, we feel no experience of weight. Most Earth satellite orbits are only a few hundred kilometers above the surface, so the actual weight is diminished very little.

Above the earth's surface at a height of
h =m = x 106 m,
which corresponds to a radius
r = x earth radius,
the acceleration of gravity is
g = m/s2 = x g on the earth's surface. This implies that the actual weight of an object is % of its weight on the earth's surface.


Gravity concepts

Orbit concepts
HyperPhysics***** Mechanics ***** Rotation R Nave
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