(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

An astronaut in her space suit has a total mass of m1 = 91.3 kg, including suit and oxygen tank. Her tether line loses its attachment to her spacecraft while she's on a spacewalk. Initially at rest with respect to her spacecraft, she throws her oxygen tank of mass m2 = 12.0-kg away from her spacecraft with a speed v = 8.50 m/s to propel herself back toward it (see figure).

(a) Determine the maximum distance she can be from the craft and still return within 1.60 min (the amount of time the air in her helmet remains breathable).

(b) Explain in terms of Newton's laws of motion why this strategy works.

2. Relevant equations

m1v1i + m2v2i = m1v1f + m2v2f

3. The attempt at a solution

a. (91.3 kg)(0 m/s) + (12.0 kg)(0 m/s) = (91.3 kg)v1f + (12.0 kg)(8.50 m/s)

v1f=1.112 m/s

b. When the astronaut throws her oxygen tank, she applies a force onto it. At the same time, the oxygen tank is applying a force onto her, which pushes the astronaut towards the space ship. This is an example of Newton's Third Law.

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# Homework Help: Conservation of momentum of astronaut in her space suit

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