enter image description hereSuppose we are in a satelite revolving around the earth with a velocity equal to orbital velocity. Now if we release a spoon from the satelite then will it reach the earth or will it just revolve around the earth like the satelite with a velocity equal to orbital velocity?

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    $\begingroup$ What do you think, and why? Please show us what you have done to try to solve this problem. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jan 21 '14 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ Probably the spoon is also initially moving with an orbital velocity thus due to inertia of motion it will probably tend to move again with an orbital velocity even after it is released. Thus may be it will try to revolve around the earth. $\endgroup$ – Dws_kool Jan 21 '14 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ Why a spoon?... $\endgroup$ – ja72 Jan 22 '14 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ you can release anything from the satelite. $\endgroup$ – Dws_kool Jan 23 '14 at 2:16

Due to inertia, the speed of the spoon is equal to the speed of the satellite. The orbit of the satellite is independent of the mass of the satellite, so the moon continues the speed of the satelite thus the spoon does not fall into the earth.


Imagine the satellite is see-through so that you can look at the spoon right through the satellite. What does it look like the spoon is doing relative to the Earth?

  • $\begingroup$ Spoon is clearly at rest with relative to the earth and the satellite I have already made it clear that the satellite is moving with an orbital velocity. $\endgroup$ – Dws_kool Jan 21 '14 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ Since the satellite is moving w.r.t. the Earth, the spoon cannot be at rest relative to the Earth and the satellite at once - which one is it? You can also forget about the satellite and draw a force diagram. $\endgroup$ – Vibert Jan 21 '14 at 13:26

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