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Orbital Mechanics Quiz

  • Galileo Galilei studied the characteristics of falling objects. He discovered that:
    all masses of only the same size fall at the same rate when dropped from the same height.
    all masses, regardless of their size, fall at the same rate when dropped from the same height.
    all masses are held on a Sunday morning in a Church.
    all masses, regardless of their size, are afraid to fall from a great height.
  • A satellite is:
    a good way to get premier tv channels.
    any object in orbital motion.
    a sun, moon, spacecraft, or ISS.
    both B and C.
  • Below are four correct and one incorrect explanation as to how the ISS stays in orbit. Find the one incorrect answer.
    If a spacecraft is given enough speed to put it in orbit around the Earth, gravity will keep it in this orbit.
    The object's forward motion is still slow enough that gravity causes the flight path to curve downward faster than the rate that the surface of the Earth curved downward.
    The ISS uses the caffeine in six cans of Coke for energy to keep it in orbit.
    The object's forward motion is fast enough so that gravity causes its flight path to curve downward at the same rate that the Earth's surface curves downward. The object is in a circular orbit.
    The object's forward motion is fast enough where the Earth's surface curves downward faster than the object's flight path. The object is in an elliptical orbit and initially gains altitude even though it was not thrown upward.
  • The six Classical Orbital Elements that tell us everything about an orbit and a satellite's place in it are: the semi-major axis, eccentricity, inclination, longitude of ascending node, argument of perigee and true anomaly. These elements help to describe an orbit's:
    size, shape, patience, and temper.
    size, shape, energy, and spunk.
    size, shape, attitude, and mood.
    size, shape, orientation, and location.
  • The portion of the Earth that the spacecraft flies directly over during its orbital path around the world is known as the:
    field of view.
    perigee.
    apogee.
    groundtrack.
  • The ISS normally flies in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO). This orbital altitude is generally in the range of:
    100 to 300 miles.
    300 to 500 miles.
    500 to 700 miles.
    700 to 900 miles.
  • All Earth-orbiting satellites must orbit in space:
    so their engines don't stall.
    because it's a fun, carnival-like ride for astronauts when the satellites are manned.
    to avoid collisions with air molecules from the atmosphere around the surface of the Earth.
    to keep things interesting.
  • Fill in the blank. The Earth's __________ determines the size and shape of the orbit of a nearby spacecraft.
    gravity
    weight
    density
    color
  • Kepler's First Law states that:
    the orbits of planets are ellipses with the Sun at the center.
    the orbits of planets are ellipses with the Sun at one focus.
    the orbits of planets is a game of tag divided into ringed and nonringed teams.
    the orbits of planets enjoy little freeway congestion.
  • Nicolaus Copernicus erroneously believed that:
    parrots were the first animals sent into space.
    planets orbit in uniform circles.
    there are five planets in the solar system.
    money buys happiness.