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Q:

Do ALL satellites have to fly at the same speed so not to leave their orbit?

A:

No, satellites that orbit at different altitudes have different speeds. Satellites that are further away actually travel slower. The International Space Station has a Low Earth Orbit, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) above the earth's surface. Objects orbiting at that altitude travel about 28,000 kilometers per hour (17,500 miles per hour). The GOES system of satellites, which tracks weather and other things, is in a geosynchronous orbit, 36,000 kilometers (22,000 miles) above the earth. These satellites travel at about 11,000 kilometers per hour (7,000 miles per hour). The moon, at about 380,000 kilometers from the earth (240,000 miles) only travels about 3,700 kilometers per hour (2,300 miles per hour).

 

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Categories: Flight Dynamics