Physics: Principles with Applications (7th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0-32162-592-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-32162-592-2

Chapter 5 - Circular Motion; Gravitation - Questions: 15

Answer

A: Launching toward the east requires less fuel.

Work Step by Step

The satellite needs to achieve a certain orbital speed with respect to the Earth’s center. The Earth rotates counterclockwise as seen from above its rotation axis (i.e., it rotates toward the east). Therefore, a lower launch speed (with respect to the surface) is possible if the satellite is launched toward the east. In the USA, Cape Canaveral in Florida is typically used (launch sites closer to the equator also benefit from a greater boost), and rockets are launched eastward (over unoccupied territory).
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