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Satellites and Orbits Once a vehicle has climbed above the atmosphere (approx 100 miles altitude for Earth) and achieved a velocity of 17,500 miles per hour, tangent to the Earths surface, it will be in orbit. To achieve orbit, a vehicle must be high enough to avoid drag from the atmosphere, with a tangent velocity (v) which matches the gravitational descent (g) and curvature of the planets surface. The velocity is fast enough that the vehicle “falls around the planet”. g v g v g v Newton’s Law of Gravity Where: F = Force G = Gravitational Constant m 1 = mass 1 m 2 = mass 2 r = distance between masses Notice from the equation that there is an “inverse square” function ( r 2 ). This means the further apart the masses are The weaker the gravitational force between them. Or, the higher the satellite orbit the weaker the force

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Various Earth orbits approx. scale Cyan represents Low Earth Orbit, Yellow represents Medium Earth Orbit, Black dashed line represents Geo- synchronous Earth Orbit, Green dash-dot line - Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites, Red dashed line the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS). Blue dotted line Equatorial Orbit, Red dotted line is a Polar Orbit Halo Orbits above poles Orbit Altitude in Miles Low Earth Orbit (LEO) 100-500-1,240 miles Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) 1,240-6,000-12,000 miles Geo-Synchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) ~22,300 miles. High Earth Orbit (HEO) Above 22,400 miles. Satellite Orbits Source - Wikipedia S. Akerley 2011

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Orbital Satellites & Debris Courtesy NASA S. Akerley 2011

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2010 TK7 is an Earth Trojan Asteroid. It has a type of orbit relative to the Earth- Sun gravitational neutral points (Also See Gravity Wells), which are called LaGrange Libration Points. In 2010/2011, TK 7 was at the near-Earth end of its tadpole, 3 which facilitated its discovery. 3 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia LaGrange Libration Points And Trojan Asteroids S. Akerley 2011

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Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation:

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