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Spacecraft landing on an alien planet

by squarky
Tags: rocket
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Feb22-10, 11:09 AM
P: 3
1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

A spacecraft of mass m0 is descending with velocity v0 to land on an alien plant where the value of g is 1/6 of g on the earth. In order to land safely (meaning the final velocity upon landing is zero), fuel has to be burnt at a constant rate dm/dt=-k, where k is a constant. How far above the surface of the planet should one begin firing the spacecraft (assume constant deceleration)

2. Relevant equations

m = m0 - kt

3. The attempt at a solution

I am trying to use my knowledge of rocket motion. But i am having a hard time picturing the problem. Any comment/help will be great.
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Feb22-10, 11:37 AM
P: 3
starting with
v - v0 = vexln(m0/m)

v= final velocity
v0 = initial velocity
vex= exhaust speed relative to spacecraft
m0= initial mass
m = final mass

because final velocity has to be zero and assuming constant exhaust speed, i simplified the above expression to get t.

t = m0(e-v/vex -1)/ke-v0/vex

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