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If an object is projected fast enough from the surface of a heavenly body it will break free of its gravitational field.

The formula for the escape velocity EQN:v_e of a body of mass M and radius r is:

EQN:V_e=\sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}}

where G is the Universal Gravitational Constant: EQN:G=6.674\times10^{-11}

The escape velocity from the surface of the Earth is 11.2 km/sec (7.0 miles/sec)

The escape velocity from the surface of the Earth is 11.2 km/sec (7.0 miles/sec), not to be confused with

orbital velocity at grazing altitude, which is smaller by a factor of EQN:\sqrt{2}

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* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape_velocity

* http://www.google.com/search?q=escape+velocity