I have a few questions that I have to have answered by 2-19-05 for a class on the following day. I have tried to solve the problems and have looked in several physics books for help but really have no idea as to the answers. If you can help, I would greatly appreciate it. Again, I am basically physics illiterate (hence the name) so you will need to put your reply in basic terms. Thanks . There is a rocket. The total momentum is zero relative to the station where the rocket is taking off from. The pilot fires the engine for just a few seconds, converting a mass "Mfuel" from liquid to a gas that shoots off into space behind the ship at a speed "Vfuel." A person at the station sees a flash of gas shoot off to the left and the ship moves to the right. 1. If we know "Mship", "Mfuel", and "Vgas" we can figure out what "Vship" is. let "Mship"=1000kg, "Mfuel"=5kg, and "Vgas"=-5000m/s. What was the ship's speed (V) to the right when it left the dock? 2. A big rocket at launch has a huge ball of flaming gas that is deflected by the ground at the beginning. Does the gas hitting the ground have anything to do with the rocket taking off? Think carefully here--is this really any different than the ship leaving the station--was there anything to "push against" there? Explain. 3. We develop this as a two object system (ship and fuel-gas). How would you explain a rocket ship to another student who has seen a model rocket, bottle rocket or fireworks shot into the air and wonders how that works. Did you ever blow up a balloon and just let it go? Again, I really need these answers and explinations by 2-19-06. Thanks for any and all help on this.