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Math Help - gravitational potential energy

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Joined
    Nov 2009
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    39

    gravitational potential energy

    A space craft of mass 5.9104 kg is in orbit around a planet of 5.11024 kg. If the planet can be assumed to be a uniform sphere of radius 5.4106 m and the space ship is orbit a height of 6.9105 m above the surface what is the gravitational potential energy of the ship? [G=6.67410-11 Nm2kg-2]

    [Specify units of 'J', 'kJ', 'MJ' or 'GJ' in your answer.]


    so far what I have done is used the equation for GPE
    which is
    U = - (G me m) / r

    where G is 6.674e-11 Nmkg-2
    me is the mass of the planet 5.1e24 kg
    m is the mass of the space ship 5.9e4 kg
    r is (i think) the radius of the planet (5.4e4 m) added to the height of the space ship is above the planet (6.9e5 m) and then divided it into G me m

    but still I dont get the right answer.......
    where am I going wrong?
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  2. #2
    Newbie
    Joined
    Nov 2009
    Posts
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    hello

    you on the correct way just calculate again

    just dont forget "-" sign and unit J is capital at the end
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