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Mass calcuations in space

  1. Apr 28, 2008 #1
    Mass calculations in space

    If an astronaut wanted to determine the mass of an object in outer space (0g), what is the procedure?
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2008 #2
    Could you though? I would think you would only be able to calculate the moment of inertia, not the actual mass.

    You could attach it to a spring with a known spring constant and use simple harmonic motion.
  4. Apr 29, 2008 #3


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    One could calculate the mass of a body of known geometry from it's moment of inertia.
    However, I do think this would be the better option.
  5. May 2, 2008 #4
    Oscillating the inertial mass on a spring was the principle used to measure the mass of astronauts on Skylab.

    As I'm new here I can't post urls in my messages yet, but search for "Mass Measurements Aboard Space Station Skylab" with your favourite search engine and you should get a hit from the NASA website which describes the device used to measure the astronauts' mass.
  6. May 2, 2008 #5


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  7. May 2, 2008 #6
    Thanks... a few more posts and I'll have the power to give URLs.
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