It's the latest craze to sweep the nation: the Personal Satellite, a shiny little ball which floats in mid-air as it orbits around your head.
The standard model is a sphere of mass m = 0.008 kg with little, tiny rocket engines all over its surface. The engines fire in exactly the right direction, and with exactly the right force, to keep the ball moving in a perfect circle of radius R = 1 m around one's head.
Sally programs her PS to orbit her head with a period of P = 3 seconds.
Astronaut Al lives deep in space, far from the Earth and Moon. He decides to get a PS of his own ... but instead of powering it with little rockets, Al tries to use GRAVITY to keep the PS circling around his head.
Will it work?
Copyright © Michael Richmond. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.