Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 10 - Think and Discuss: 94

Answer

A descending satellite moves through the atmosphere at the tangential speed it has to remain in orbit, which is very fast. When ascending through the atmosphere, it is mostly moving vertically upward. Critically, it is not moving as fast as an orbiting body would be moving at that height. The ascending satellite does not reach orbital speed until it is above most of the atmosphere.
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