Garmaine Staff asked 2 years ago

If a horseshoe magnet was attached to a satellite orbiting the Earth, would the interaction of the Earth's magnetic field and the horseshoe magnet's magnetic field result in the magnet being propelled in the direction of travel and adding momentum to the satellite? If so, this magnet should help the satellite to maintain its orbit over its lifetime.

To illustrate how this propelling force would be created, please reference the drawing below:

enter image description here

The horseshoe magnet shown in the drawing (and the satellite) is moving in a West-to-East orbit around the Earth. This propelling force is created via the magnetic repulsion of the two magnetic fields.

Also, this horseshoe magnet could be mounted to the end of a ten foot plastic rod with the other end of the rod attached to the satellite so the magnet's magnetic field would not interfere with the satellite's electronics.

EDIT

I have thought about the issue of the magnet and satellite being rotated by the Earth's magnetic field instead of the magnet adding force/momentum in a West-to-East direction.

I believe a solution to this issue would be to place a magnet behind the satellite and another one in front of it, with each one being attached to the end of a long plastic rod so its magnetic field would not interfere with the satellite's electronics.

I have illustrated this concept in the new drawing below:

enter image description here

Would this be a viable solution to the rotation issue and would there be a propelling force which would add momentum to the satellite? These two magnets could be either permanent magnets or electromagnets.