View Single Post
Mar14-08, 04:33 PM
P: 218
Quote Quote by frankencrank View Post
I agree, the mass of the rocket would have to change but we can assume it doesn't for the purposes of this problem just like people assume they are dealing with rigid bodies (which don't exist in the real world) when dealing with these kinds of problems.

Since we can calculate the radius of the circle and we know the speed of the spaceship we can know the time that the rocket must fire to turn the spaceship around. From this can we calculate how much energy left the rocket during a 180 turn and, at the same time, the power of the rocket?
The spaceship can't turn 180 degrees by launching one rocket orthogonally to its velocity because of momentum conservation. Assuming it is much heavier than the rocket which it fires the deflection angle from the spaceship's original path would be significantly less than 90 degrees. If the masses are equal the deflection is 90 degrees.

What do mean by "how much energy left the rocket"? The rocket is what is being fired off of the spaceship right? The spaceship loses the kinetic energy it gave to the rocket, which depends on the rocket velocity.