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Rethinking the classical mechanics (orbital mechanics), Part #4 of 10

(impossibility to stay on orbital trajectories based on the orbital mechanics formulas)

This analysis is simple; however, it is enough to begin to feel a doubt about the rightness of the use of the physical parameters such as the gravitational force and
its direction in the current orbital mechanics.

The empirical fact is that the gravitational force is always pulling mass(es) towards the Earth center

Earth
(assumed ideal sphere)

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First of all, offer to consider three situations of projectile motions of any mass (spaceship, others) in order to better understand illogical points of the current
orbital motions. All the three situations are assumed to be without air resistance. Notice that it does not matter where (left or right) mass(es) move to. In the third
situation, one assumes that a spaceship which is launched from the Earth to be set at the circular orbit has initially a projectile trajectory.

Please notice that the gravitational force is always straightly towards the Earth center; however, this is usually neglected (gravitational force is stated to act
straightly down) when analyzing projectile motions for short distances. Whether the gravitational force is REALLY (not formally) counted as a force towards the
Earth center in the complicated mathematical calculations to define the orbits and locations of masses (spaceships, International Space Station and others)?!
1. First situation 2. Second situation
Highest point of
Highest point of
B projectile motion
Gravitational force projectile motion Gravitational force
A
~ 500 m
~5m

~ 10 m
~ 1000 m
3. Third situation
C Highest point of projectile motion and
entry to the circular orbit

Gravitational force
~ 401 km

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~ 802 km
Offer to answer the following questions keeping in mind that the gravitational force is always towards the Earth center:

I. What is the free fall which begins from point A in the first situation?

II. What is the free fall which begins from point B in the second situation?

III. What is the free fall which begins from point C in the third situation?

IV. What differences are between the free falls in the first situation, the second situation, and the third situation?

V. If there are some differences between these three free falls, which conditions causes these differences?

VI. If there are NOT any fundamental differences, then Researcher offers to go to the next page and think about whether the distance between a mass
(spaceship) and the Earth center should start to decrease from point C (after a spaceship enters into the circular orbit) in the third situation?

Note: decreasing the distance between a mass (spaceship) and the Earth’s center must happen along the Earth radius line (diagram on page #6) because the
gravitational force pulls a mass (spaceship) to the Earth center!

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Before beginning the analysis of the situation when a spaceship enters into the circular orbit from a projectile trajectory, take some data from Wikipedia:

1. The Earth radius is: ~ 6371 𝑘𝑖𝑙𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑘𝑚 = 6371000 𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠 (𝑚) ;


𝑚
2. The Earth gravitational acceleration (𝑔) near the Earth surface is: ~ 9.81 ;
𝑠2

𝑚 𝑚
3. The Earth gravitational acceleration at the height of 401 km is about 90% of that near the Earth surface: ~ 9.81 ∗ 0.9 = 8.829 ;
𝑠2 𝑠2

9.81+8.829 𝑚
4. Use an average gravitational acceleration to simplify further calculations: 𝑔𝑎𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑔𝑒 = = 9.3195 ;
2 𝑠2

5. The height (at perigee) of International Space Station’s orbit over the Earth surface is: ~ 401.1 𝑘𝑖𝑙𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑘𝑚 = 401100 𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠 (𝑚) ;

𝑘𝑚 𝑚
6. The orbital speed of International Space Station (ISS) at the height of 401 km is: ~ 7.67 = 7670 ;
𝑠 𝑠

7. The orbital period of International Space Station (ISS) is: ~ 92.65 𝑚𝑢𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑒𝑠 (𝑚𝑖𝑛) = 5559 𝑠𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑠 (𝑠) ;

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Now, please analyze the third situation when a spaceship has a magnitude of its velocity enough to counter-clockwise enter into the circular orbit at the height of
𝑘𝑚
401.1 km above the Earth surface at point C. Assume that the speed of around 7.67 is satisfactory to enter into the circular orbit at point C (ISS orbit is almost
𝑠
circular). It is known that the gravitational acceleration at the height of 401.1 km is about 90% of that on the Earth surface. Use the average gravitational
𝑚
acceleration 9.3195 2 to simplify the calculations. The Earth is assumed to be an ideal sphere in this analysis.
𝑠
There are NOT any fundamental differences (gravitational force always towards the Earth center) between the three free falls in the three situations; therefore, it is
possible to calculate 𝑡 (time which is needed to decrease the distance (6371 km + 401 km = 6772 km) between a spaceship and the Earth center by 401.1 km along
the Earth radius line (see diagram on the next page) starting from point C:

𝑚
𝑔𝑎𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑔𝑒 ∗𝑡 2 9.3195 2 ∗𝑡 2 ℎ𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡∗2 401.1 𝑘𝑚 ∗2 401100 𝑚∗2
𝑠
𝑖𝑓 ℎ𝑒𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑓𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔 = = , 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑡 = = 𝑚 = 𝑚 = 293.38 𝑠𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑠 (𝑠)
2 2 𝑔𝑎𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑔𝑒 9.3195 2 9.3195 2
𝑠 𝑠

Next, find a horizontal distance (𝐷) which a spaceship passes from point C in 293.38 seconds:

𝑚
𝐷 ≈ 7670 ∗ 293.38 𝑠𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑠 = 2250224.6 𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠 ≈ 2250 𝑘𝑖𝑙𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠!
𝑠

Also, notice that the horizontal component (horizontal speed) of a spaceship’s velocity starts to decrease from point C; hence, a spaceship goes a horizontal
distance less than 2250 km in 293.38 s. Therefore, a spaceship should hit the Earth surface at some 2250 km away from point C in 293.38 s. It is important to
highlight that the horizontal distance of 2250 km is almost three times less than the Earth radius (see diagram on the next page)!:

2250.2246 𝑘𝑚 2250.2246 𝑘𝑚
2250.2246 𝑘𝑚 = ∗ 100% = ∗ 100% ≈ 35.32% 𝑜𝑓 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝐸𝑎𝑟𝑡ℎ 𝑟𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑢𝑠
𝐸𝑎𝑟𝑡ℎ 𝑟𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑢𝑠 6371 𝑘𝑚

As the gravitational force is pulling a spaceship towards the Earth center, offer to analyze what can prevent decreasing the distance between a spaceship and the
Earth center along the Earth radius line starting from point C (see diagram on the next page):
1. How strongly can the horizontal component of the speed of a spaceship prevent decreasing the distance (along the Earth’s radius line) between a spaceship
and the Earth center?
2. How strongly can the vertical component of the speed of a spaceship prevent decreasing the distance (along the Earth’s radius line) between a spaceship
and the Earth center?
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This diagram illustrates the situation when a spaceship counter-clockwise enters into the circular orbit at point C from a
projectile motion and then hits the Earth surface in about 293.38 seconds

~ 401 km
Point which a spaceship hits
the Earth surface at in about
293.38 sec.
~ 2250 km

Earth radius
~ 6371 km
Earth radius Earth radius line
~ 6371 km

Earth
(ideal sphere)
Earth radius line

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Analysis of the circular orbital motion and diagram on the previous page #6:

The orbital period of International Space Station (ISS) is about 92.65 minutes. Although this period is for the elliptical orbit of ISS with perigee 401.1 km and apogee
𝑚
408 km, the period may be applied for the circular orbit at the height 401.1 km above the Earth surface if ISS moves at the speed 7.67 because this elliptical
𝑠
orbit is very close to the circular orbit. Hence, one can figure out how much time a spaceship needs to pass its path in the left upper quarter of its circular orbit (see
diagram on the previous page):

𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑜𝑟𝑏𝑖𝑡𝑎𝑙 𝑝𝑒𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑑 92.65 𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑢𝑡𝑒𝑠


= = 23.1625 𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑢𝑡𝑒𝑠 = 1389.75 𝑠𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑠
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As it was calculated, the time necessary for a spaceship to touch the Earth surface is about 293.38 seconds. This time is almost five times less than that necessary
to pass the path in the left upper quarter of the circular orbital motion:

1389.75 𝑠𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑠 293.38


= 4.737 𝑜𝑟 ∗ 100% = 21.11% 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑞𝑢𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑒𝑟!
293.38 𝑠𝑒𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑑𝑠 1389.75

As seen, the time (293.38 s) which is needed to decrease the distance (401.1 km + 6371 km = 6772 km) between a spaceship and the Earth’s center by 401.1 km
starting at point C is only 21.11% of the time which a spaceship needs to pass its path in the left upper quarter of its circular orbit!

To summarize, the horizontal component (horizontal speed) and the vertical component (vertical speed) of a spaceship velocity cannot so drastically prevent
decreasing the distance between a spaceship and the Earth center along the Earth radius line.

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Conclusion:
International Space Station (ISS) or spaceship cannot orbit the Earth eternally (at about 401 km above the Earth surface) based on the free fall conception because
the above calculations prove that they must hit the Earth surface in about 5 minutes (293.38 seconds). However, we observe that ISS , satellites, and spaceships
orbit the Earth eternally despite the calculations. It means that the orbital mechanics is contradictory! Moreover, it describes the natural processes incompletely.

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