Why Satellites Stay in Orbit: Cool 1964 kids' science book

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/04/08/why-satellites-stay.html


You’ve got a theme going.

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For recommendations of current children’s books about space and astronomy, I would suggest
planetary scientist and educator Emily Lakdawalla (@elakdawalla) of the Planetary Society, whose annual children’s book lists (pace the OP’s complaint about post-1970s tomes) highlight some genuinely excellent books.

Space and astronomy books can go rapidly out of date - I have some early-'60s volumes that, charming though they may be, are either riddled with fundamental errors or badly outdated in terms of what’s known and what’s not.

Emily Lakdawalla’s Recommended Kids’ Space Books

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Here it is on Internet Archive:


I always thought it was obvious why they stay in orbit. A rocket carries them way high up in the sky, then lets them go so they have to start falling down. But the rocket also gives them a really big push sideways, and now they’re going sideways so fast that they miss the earth as they fall. So they keep on falling.


That sideways push is the trick isn’t it? Its relatively easy to get things to space, but it’s much harder to get them to stay in space for an appreciable amount of time without that push.

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Interesting that one of the children on the cover seems to be black – pretty unusual for 1964.

I’d like to give it a 5 star review but I should try first

the clarke book is some better value but could be justly technical

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