Ask an Explainer
Why does a body go into orbit rather than crashing into the body that is gravitationally attracting it?
If an object moves fast enough, it can orbit another object instead of crashing into it. This is how the International Space Station and other satellites orbit the Earth. In order to orbit a body in space, there is a minimum velocity that an object needs called the orbital velocity. Imagine throwing a ball so fast that before it falls and hits the ground, the Earth’s curvature causes the ball to keep falling and miss the ground. That is basically what satellites do in space.