Choose the correct alternative:
(a) If the zero of potential energy is at infinity, the total energy of an orbiting satellite is negative of its kinetic/potential energy.
(b) The energy required to launch an orbiting satellite out of earth’s gravitational influence is more/less than the energy required to project a stationary object at the same height (as the satellite) out of earth’s influence.
(a) Kinetic energy
(a) Total mechanical energy of a satellite is the sum of its kinetic energy (always positive) and potential energy (may be negative). At infinity, the gravitational potential energy of the satellite is zero. As the Earth-satellite system is a bound system, the total energy of the satellite is negative.
Thus, the total energy of an orbiting satellite at infinity is equal to the negative of its kinetic energy.
(b) An orbiting satellite acquires a certain amount of energy that enables it to revolve around the Earth. This energy is provided by its orbit. It requires relatively lesser energy to move out of the influence of the Earth’s gravitational field than a stationary object on the Earth’s surface that initially contains no energy.