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    Physics: Gravity forces and fields between two masses (earth and spacecraft)

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    Assume the earth to be a uniform spherical planet, mass M= (5.98 E 24) kg. (The number, in scientific notation, means '5.98 times 10 to the 24') The earth's radius is R= (6.37 E 6) m.

    Part a. Find the force of gravity between the earth and a spacecraft whose mass is m= 36000 kg, which is at height h= 520,000 m above the surface.

    Part b. From the definition of gravity field of the earth at the spaceship's location as 'the force the earth exerts on the spaceship divided by the mass of the spaceship' find the earth's field at that location.

    Part c. Find the distance from the center of the earth to a point in space where the earth's gravity field is 2.5 nt/kg.

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    Solution Preview

    Part a.
    Newton's gravitation law, (1) F = G M m / r^2 expresses the force F between two masses, M and m, with distance r between their centers of mass. The letter G is the 'universal gravitational constant', the same value when using (1) for any two objects in the universe. ...

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