The GPS Mission: Phase I

You, the shuttle commander, are in a low Earth orbit, 375 km above sea level. You are to fire a 200 kg GPS satellite module into a typical GPS orbit (20,200 km above the Earth's surface).

You are to fuel the GPS launcher engines with fuel to give the GPS module a kinetic energy boost that will take the module to the new orbit, 20,200 km above the Earth's surface. The module will be fired tangentially to the present orbit.

#1 How much fuel do you need for the required energy boost? Give your answer in Energy Units.

Required Fuel = J

#2 You have succeeded in placing the satellite at 20,200 km. Will it return to low orbit? Will it remain at 20,200 km? What will it do? Discuss with your group and jot down some answers.

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