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Homework Help: Conservation of energy involving a spring

  1. Mar 26, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    You are asked to design a spring that will give a 1130 satellite a speed of 1.90 m/s relative to an orbiting space shuttle. Your spring is to give the satellite a maximum acceleration of 5g. The spring's mass, the recoil kinetic energy of the shuttle, and changes in gravitational potential energy will all be negligible.

    1. What must the force constant of the spring be?
    2. What distance must the spring be compressed?

    2. Relevant equations
    E initial = E final

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I am not sure of how to start this equation. I don't understand the physical situation that is happening here, can someone maybe give a nudge as to what is happening? The biggest thing that is messing me up is that the spaceship is in orbit, does this mean gravity doesnt apply? Is the space trying to shoot it in the y or x direction?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2012 #2


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    What's a 1130 satellite ?
  4. Mar 26, 2012 #3
    sorry 1130 kg
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