that they thought gravity was just a lot weaker up there.

Convince them that it isn't so by calculating how much weaker (in %) gravity is 380 km above the Earth's surface.

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that they thought gravity was just a lot weaker up there.

Convince them that it isn't so by calculating how much weaker (in %) gravity is 380 km above the Earth's surface.

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## Answers (2)

There is still gravity and the reason they feel weightless is that they are in orbit and the force of gravity is countered by the centrifugal force of rotation.

g = Gm/r²

g is acceleration from mass attraction in m/s²

m is mass of earth or other body generating the a

r is radius of body in meters.

G = 6.67e-11 m³/kgs²

earth radius 6,371 km = 6.37e6 meters

earth mass M 5.974e24 kg

earth GM = 3.987e14

g = (3.987e14) / (6.37e6 + 0.38e6)² = 8.75 m/s²

compared to 9.8, that is 10.7% reduction

I could do that fairly easily, but I don't think it would be all that convincing. The point would be made much more apparent with a scale drawing, showing how low the orbit is compared to the width of the planet.