Satellite Orbits, Launches, and Tracking

Newton’s Cannon Java applet  
From Fowler's Physics Applets   
These applets can be run on-line or can be downloaded for use on  a Windows PC.  This site also has a link to a lecture about the history of Newton's discoveries about gravity, and how an orbit works based on Newtonian physics.

Around the World
From NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

Tracking Satellites Using the Internet
From the Yohkoh Mission Education and Outreach.
Introduces the concepts of orbital period, altitude; is partly based on the use of algebra

How Satellites Work
From the Gulf of Maine Aquarium.  Makes use of satellite tracking software, has a nice Orbit Model lesson which can be easily be adapted to the RHESSI mission by using an altitude of 600 km for the orbit, a launching lesson based on Newton’s cannon, and a hands-on lesson about the forces in an orbit.

Orbital Simulation Java Applet
From M. Casco and Associates. An excellent applet that students can use to learn about the properties of satellite orbits, and the difficulties of getting an object into a stable orbit.