escape velocity


escape velocity

noun

Definition of ESCAPE VELOCITY

:  the minimum velocity that a moving body (as a rocket) must have to escape from the gravitational field of a celestial body (as the earth) and move outward into space

First Known Use of ESCAPE VELOCITY

1934

escape velocity

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Speed sufficient for a body to escape from a gravitational centre of attraction without accelerating further. It decreases with altitude and equals the square root of 2 (about 1.414) times the speed needed to maintain a circular orbit at the same altitude. At the surface of Earth, disregarding atmospheric resistance, escape velocity is about 6.96 mi/second (11.2 km/second). Escape velocity from the surface of the Moon is about one-third of this.

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