When a satellite bar reaches a certain altitude, the bar drops to a certain level, a feature of the International Space Station.
But satellites that travel to or from Earth are heavier than satellites that don’t.
The bar can weigh more than the bar at its lowest altitude, a phenomenon known as the drag coefficient, because gravity pulls the bar closer to the ground.
Scientists have been studying the drag coefficients for years, but the amount of the drag is less than 1 percent of the weight of the bar.
The drag coefficient of the heaviest bar is about 6.5 percent, and the drag of a typical bar is less, according to NASA.
The National Science Foundation is funding a study to measure the drag and determine how much it would take to make a satellite heavier.
The scientists will use a combination of radar and data from the orbiting satellites to make the measurements.
A small bar weighs about one-tenth of a pound and a medium bar weighs more than a half-pound, according a NASA press release.
The research will be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.