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Homework Help: Probe Slingshot dynamics

  1. Dec 10, 2013 #1
    Really need help with this past exam question for revison:

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A probe performs slingshot maoeuvre around planet. Mass of planet is 9x10^22kg. Mass of probe is 4x10^2 kg and approaches planet from a great distance with relative speed 2x10^3 m/s and impact parameter 6x10^7. Using gravitational constant, G, determine:

    1) Specific Energy, C and Specific Angular momentum L and alpha.
    2) Closest approach distance of probe
    3) Max speed of probe

    I have the equations, but they involve the semi-major axis which cant be used as Rmax and Rmin arent given here so i'm a little lost on where to being with this, if anyone could help out I would be eternally greatfull! :D
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2013 #2
    The only equations necessary here are those of conservation of energy and angular momentum.
  4. Dec 10, 2013 #3
    I found parts 1 and 2 but am stuck on finding Vmax at my Rmin value without knowing the Rmax to be able to calculate the semi-major axis and eccentricity.
  5. Dec 10, 2013 #4
    Once you know (2), you can use both conservation of energy and conservation of angular momentum to obtain the max speed.
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