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Momemtum in 2 Directions

  1. Sep 13, 2009 #1
    spacecraft that are linked together are then thrust apart by large springs,

    S1 has a mass of 1.9x10^4 kg, then has a velocity of 3.5x10^3km/h at 5.1 degrees to the original direction..

    S2 has a mass of 1.7x10^4kg and a velocity of 3.4x10^3km/h at 5.9 degrees to the original direction.

    I just want to double check to make sure I solved this correctly.

    3. I converted km/h into m/s. Then I calculated each spaceships momentum using P=mv and resolved each spaceship into its own component vector.

    I figured the X in each component vector would add up to the original total momentum of the 2 spaceships when they were linked together, because Pt = P1+P2

    I solved each x compenent using X=Pcos(theta) then I added them together to get the total momentum.

    I also added the mass of the two spaceships together to get the total mass when they were linked together.

    Using both of these values I used P=mv to calculate the original velocity of the two spaceships when they were linked together.

    I'm not worried about any math errors, just the errors in any steps that I took. Thanks a lot.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2009 #2


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    Looks good!

    By the way, it's probably not necessary to convert the velocities into m/s. Since they were giving you km/h velocities, that more or less implies that an answer in km/h is acceptable.
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