This is probably a stupid question, so I apologise in advance, but why is it that you need to achieve a certain speed to leave the planet? I understand that an orbit needs a speed so that when you fall back towards earth you constantly "miss", but not to simply move away from the planet.

Surely if you move away from the planet directly upwards at a steady rate of 1 m/s, after 100,000 seconds (about 28 hours) you would reach 100km from earth and be in space? I've searched a few Escape Velocity questions and couldn't find an answer.



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