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Homework Help: Conservation of momentum

  1. Dec 10, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A 63.1 kg astronaut is on a space walk away from the shuttle when her tether line breaks.
    She is able to throw her 12.9 kg oxygen tank away from the shuttle with a speed of 10.4m/s
    to propel herself back to the shuttle. Assuming that she starts from rest (relative to the shuttle), determine the maximum distance she can be from the craft when the
    line breaks and still return within 52.2 s (the amount of time she can hold her breath). Answer in units of m.

    I'm getting the wrong answer to this problem. can someone help me figure out where i went wrong?
    This is what I did:
    1. Found out what Vf for astronaut would be:
    MaVfa= Moxygentank(Vf)
    MoVfo/ Ma = Vfa
    Vfa= 2.12614897 m/s
    2. then i decided to use the distance formula
    d= Vi + Vf/2 (t)
    where Vi= 0 and Vf= the answer above and t= 52.2s
    i got d= 55.49248811m
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2008 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Your distance formula is for uniformly accelerated motion. This is motion at a constant velocity. How far can you get in 52.2s at a constant velocity of 2.126m/s?
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