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Homework Help: Physics 40s conservation of momentum question

  1. Apr 14, 2009 #1
    A 10,000kg space shuttle moving east at 3000km/h wishes to change its course by 10°. It does so by ejecting an object at a speed of 5000km/h (South). Calculate the mass of the ejected object.

    Momentum before = momentum after
    momentum is mass x velocity

    I am honesty pretty well completely stumped on how to solve this question. Would you draw a vector diagram? Usually you figure out the momentum before and then the momentum after must be equal. However I dont know how to do that because when the shuttle releaes the amount of weight, we no longer know its amount of weight or velocity.
    Im so confused, please help
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 14, 2009 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Think of a velocity tranverse to the shuttle's initial velocity, such that is some time t, the resultant velocity is at 10°.

    Now to move in that direction, the shuttle must eject an object of mass M at 5000km/h velocity to the south. The shuttle's mass is 10,000kg.
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