How Do We Stay in Space Once We Arrive?: The Concept of Orbiting
An astronaut sits in the flight deck of the space shuttle

The information in this video was accurate as of the original publication date.

Audience: Educators and Students
Grades: 5-8


This NASA video segment explains why the space shuttle stays in orbit. An astronaut on board the space shuttle uses a computer to simulate one of Isaac Newton's theoretical motion experiments. Viewers watch as an animated person throws a baseball from the top of an imaginary mountain peak above the atmosphere. As the person throws the ball faster, it travels farther until it eventually circles Earth and comes back to the person. Viewers learn that the space shuttle moves so fast, like the baseball, that it continually circles Earth, crossing the United States in only 10 minutes.

How Do We Stay in Space Once We Arrive?: The Concept of Orbiting
Duration: 5 minutes 28 seconds
> View QuickTime [18MB]


This video clip is part of the Liftoff to Learning: Space Basics DVD that may be ordered from the Central Operation of Resources for Educators, or CORE  →.


Other video learning clips in this series:
The History of Rocketry and Space Travel
How Do We Get Into Space?: The Role of Solid Rocket Boosters
How Far Out in Space Is the Space Shuttle?
What Is the Weather Like in Space?
Why Do Astronauts Float in Space?
The Mechanics of Returning a Space Shuttle to Earth