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Homework Help: Conservation of Linear Momentum

  1. Oct 13, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A space vehicle is traveling at 6000 km/h relative to the Earth when the exhausted rocket motor is disengaged and sent backward with a speed of 86 km/h relative to the command module. The mass of the motor is four times the mass of the module. What is the speed of the command module relative to Earth just after the separation?

    2. Relevant equations

    Pi = Pf

    m1vi +m2vi = m1vf + m2vf

    3. The attempt at a solution

    m1(6000) + 0 = m1(.64) + m2vf

    which can be solved to..

    m1(6000-.64) = m2vf

    but I'm not sure how to get either m2 or vf
    It seems like I would need vf to get m2
  2. jcsd
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