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Force and Simple Dynamics: Pushy Astronaut

  1. Jan 28, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    An astronaut of mass 65 kg pushes off a satellite of mass 420 kg, exerting a force of 120 N for the 0.94 s they are in contact.

    2. Relevant equations
    What is the speed of the astronaut after they have separated?
    Ans: 1.84 m/s
    What is the speed of the satellite after they have separated?
    Ans: .268 m/s
    How far apart are they after 1 minute?
    d=??? m

    3. The attempt at a solution
    This is my attempt. I used the position as a function of time formula:
    [tex]x = x_0 + v_0 t + (1/2) a t^2[/tex]
    For the astronaut: x= 0+0+.5(1.84 m/s^2)(60 s)^2= 3312 m
    For the satelite: x= 0+0+.5(.268 m/s^2)(60)^2= 513 m
    In order to get the separation, i subtracted the two and got 2799 m. But this is incorrect according to my online homework program. did i make a mistake or use the wrong formula?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 28, 2009 #2

    rl.bhat

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    Homework Helper

    What is the speed of the astronaut after they have separated?
    Ans: 1.84 m/s
    What is the speed of the satellite after they have separated?
    Ans: .268 m/s

    How did you get these two values?
     
  4. Jan 29, 2009 #3
    accelration of satelite=F/m=120N/420kg=0.285m/s^2
    accelration of astronaut=F/m=120N/65kg=1.84 m/s^2

    To find velocity, i used the velocity as a function of time equation:
    V=V0+at

    astronaut: V=0+1.84 m/s^2(0.94s)=1.74 m/s
    satelite: V=0+0.285 m/s^2(0.94s)=0.268 m/s
     
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