Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
FREE Admission & Parking

Putting a Satellite into Orbit

Sending a satellite into orbit around the earth is not simply a matter of overcoming gravity with the brute force of rocket power. Rather, rocket power helps us use gravity to place a satellite into orbit. The power of the rocket lifts the satellite out of the atmosphere so air friction at high speeds will not burn it up or slow it down, and it pushes the satellite horizontally to a very high speed so it will stay in orbit. A satellite never escapes gravity. Gravity is acting on it all the time, making it fall around the earth.

Click here to return to the Missile Gallery.