Part II: Physics In Space - Orbital Motion And Re-entry
Concepts Covered: Newton's Laws of Motion Circular Motion Rotational Dynamics Heat Conservation of Energy This program focuses on the physics of orbital motion and re-entry into the earth's atmosphere. The program discusses the dynamics of orbital motion and the apparent weightlessness experienced while in orbit. Kepler's 3 laws of planetary motion are applied to satellites, explaining the characteristics of both circular and elliptical orbits. Orbital motion of the Space Shuttle is studied in terms of the acting gravitational centripetal force, orbital radius, and orbital velocity. Satellite deployment from the Space Shuttle and subsequent attainment of geosynchronous orbit is also examined. The weightless environment provides a unique opportunity for motion studies in which Newton's Three Laws of Motion become particularly apparent. Heat transfer in the vacuum of space and a discussion on thermal energy concludes the program as the atmospheric re-entry of the Space Shuttle is contrasted to that of the Apollo Command Module.