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B Action and reaction of a rocket in space.

  1. Dec 21, 2016 #1
    By conversation of momentum, the rocket can be propelled forward by ejecting mass like gas.
    However, how is the propelling force explained in terms of action and reaction? If gas is ejected, what does the force act on?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    The rocket.
  4. Dec 21, 2016 #3


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    Science Advisor

    Conversation of momentum is ensured by Newton's 3rd Law (action and reaction).
  5. Dec 21, 2016 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Russ already answered this, but think for a moment. What's acting on the gas to eject it? Where's that force coming from? If the combustion process inside the engine creates a high speed gas, what forces it to go one way instead of expanding outwards in all directions?
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