Assuming that the astronaut starts from rest, find the final speed of the astronaut after throwing the tank.A 60.6 kg astronaut is on a space walk when the tether line to the shuttle breaks. The...

Assuming that the astronaut starts from rest, find the final speed of the astronaut after throwing the tank.

A 60.6 kg astronaut is on a space walk when the tether line to the shuttle breaks. The astronaut is able to throw a 11.0 kg oxygen tank in a direction away from the shuttle with a speed of 14.8 m/s, propelling the astronaut back to the shuttle.

justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The total momentum of all the objects in a closed system is always the same. In the problem, the mass of the astronaut is 60.6 kg and the mass of the cylinder is 11.0 kg. The astronaut throws the mass away from the space shuttle with a velocity of 14.8 m/s.

The total initial momentum of the astronaut and the cylinder is 0. When the cylinder is thrown, it has a momentum of 14.8*11 = 162.8 kg*m/s

To keep the total momentum of the system comprising of the cylinder and the astronaut equal to 0, the astronaut moves towards the space ship with a velocity V.

V*60.6 - 162.8 = 0

=> V = 2.68

The astronaut moves towards the space ship with a velocity of 2.68 m/s.

jackboniver | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

I forgot what this type of problem is called. But here you go.

Use the formula:

(mass1)(initial velocity1) + (mass2)(initial velocity2) = (mass1)(final velocity1) + (mass2)(final velocity2)

The astronout is mass1 and the oxygen tank is mass2. Same goes for their velocities.

(60.6 kg)(0 m/s)+(11.0 kg)(0 m/s)=(60.6 kg)(?)+(11.0 kg)(-14.8m/s)

162.8 kg*m/s = (60.6 kg)(?)

the astronaut goes 2.7 m/s

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