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Homework Help: Momentum problem (motion of a system of particles?) Slingshot around moon

  1. Apr 11, 2006 #1
    NASA often uses the gravity of a planet to slingshot a probe on its way to a more distant planet. The interaction of the planet and the spacecraft is a collision in which the objects do not touch. How can the probe have its speed increased in this manner?

    This problem confuses me, I want to use the conservation of momentum, but I can't really set it up, if I'm even going in the right direction. I could use some help with this problem. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2006 #2


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    Welcome to PF!

    You are on the right lines with momentum, but you also need to use conservation of kinetic energy.

    This page is very useful;
    http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath114.htm [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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