Asked Dec 18, 2019

The International Space Station has a mass of 4.19 x 105 kg
and orbits at a radius of 6.79 x 106 m from the center of
Earth. Find (a) the gravitational force exerted by Earth on the
space station, (b) the space station’s gravitational potential
energy, and (c) the weight of an 80.0-kg astronaut living inside
the station.


Expert Answer

Step 1

Let the mass of the international space station be denoted by m and the mass of the Earth be denoted as M.

The expression for the gravitational force F exerted by the Earth on the space station is,


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Step 2

Here r the distance of the space station from the center of the Earth, G is the gravitational constant.

Substitute 4.19(105) kg for m, 5.97(1024) kg for M, 6.79(106) m for r , 6.67(10-11) kg-1⸳m3⸳s-2 for G  and solve for F as,


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(6.67x10"kg.m² -s²)(4.19x10'kg)(5.97x10*kg) (6.79 x 10ʻm) 3.62 ×10°N

Step 3

The gravitational potential energy U of the...


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