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I Launch of the Sspace Shuttle and its effect on the Earth's motion

  1. Nov 4, 2017 #1
    Assume we shoot a space shuttle of mass m to space. We know it affects the earth's mass M by decreasing it to M2 = M-m. Assume that the gas pillar that the space shuttle shoots has no effects on earth, what would be the theoretical effects on kinetic energy, momentum and velocity of the earth by the decreased mass, although miniscule obviously?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2017 #2


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    Can you do any of these calculations yourself? And why do you say "theoretical"? Do you not believe that the effects would be real?
  4. Nov 4, 2017 #3
    I would assume that the momentum remained constant cause of the assumption of gas pillar having no effect, i.e no recoil effects? Then velocity would be increased with the decreased mass? Correct? Incorrect?

    And by theoretical i mean real... just theoretical relating to the effects being miniscule.
  5. Nov 4, 2017 #4


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    What are the components of momentum? Do they stay the same?

    Would it matter in what direction the rocket was launched?

    OK, but that's poor terminology. If you mean minuscule, SAY minuscule.
  6. Nov 5, 2017 #5


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    Two bricks tied together are in a circular orbit around the earth. You don a space suit, carefully untie the string and remove one of the bricks without disturbing the other. Does the undisturbed brick double its orbital velocity as a result?
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