Why is the sky blue?
What is escape velocity?
You remember the fantasy: If you could jump high enough, you could leave Earth and bound up to the moon. To pull off that colossal kangaroo act, you'd have to reach escape velocity -- the minimum velocity needed to permanently escape the gravity of a planet or star.
Escape velocity is even simpler to calculate than orbital velocity. In general, all you need to know are the gravitational constant ("G"), the mass of the planet or star, and the distance of the spaceship from the center of mass of the planet or star.
(Need information on units?)
We had an encyclopedia do the math for us, and learned that escape velocity at Earth's surface is 11,200 meters per second. Just as with orbital velocity, the further from Earth, the lower the escape velocity.
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