The orbital speed of a body, generally a planet, a natural satellite, an artificial satellite, or a multiple star, is the speed at which it orbits around the barycenter of a system, usually around a more massive body. It can be used to refer to either the mean orbital speed, the average speed as it completes an orbit, or instantaneous orbital speed, the speed at a particular point in its orbit.
The orbital speed at any position in the orbit can be computed from the distance to the central body at that position, and the specific orbital energy, which is independent of position: the kinetic energy is the total energy minus the potential energy.
Other articles related to "orbital speed, speed, orbital":
... Although the orbital speed of an inner planet is greater than that of the Earth, a spacecraft traveling to an inner planet, even at the minimum speed needed to reach it, is still accelerated ... Similarly, while the orbital speed of an outer planet is less than that of the Earth, a spacecraft leaving the Earth at the minimum speed needed to travel to some outer planet is decelerated by the Sun's ... Since a gravity assist maneuver can change the speed of a spacecraft without expending propellant, if and when possible, combined with aerobraking, it can save significant amounts of propellant ...
... distance altitude above the Earth's surface speed Orbital period specific orbital energy Earth's surface (for comparison) 6,400 km 0 km 7.89 km/s (17,650 mph) — -62.6 MJ/kg Low Earth ...
Famous quotes containing the word speed:
“There exist certain individuals who are, by nature, given purely to contemplation and are utterly unsuited to action, and who, nevertheless, under a mysterious and unknown impulse, sometimes act with a speed which they themselves would have thought beyond them.”
—Charles Baudelaire (18211867)