# B [Question] Did I figure out the Space Shuttle's momentum?

1. Mar 23, 2017

### TandN51316

Please bare with me as I'm a beginner with this stuff, and am just learning lol But I was wondering if I did the right math to figure out the momentum of the Space Shuttle.

Linear Momentum, in classical mechanics, is the product of the mass (the measure of an objects resistance to acceleration when a net force is applied - not to be confused with weight) and velocity (the rate of change of an object's position with respect to a reference frame) of an object. It is 'dimensionally equivalent' (meaning length, mass, time, electric charge, and units of measurement such as miles, km, lbs and kgs) to impulse (the product of force and time, or essentially the result of a force applied over a specific amount of time). Linear momentum is a conserved quantity, meaning that is a closed system is not affected by external forces, its total linear momentum cannot/does not change.

Shuttle Mass-
4,470,000 pounds

SRB Mass (Both SRB's)-
1,300,000 pounds each

External Tank Mass (LOX and LH2)-
1,530,000 pounds

Total Mass-
7,300,000 pounds
(3,311,224 kilograms)

Distance to space-
62 Miles
(99,779 Meters)

Space Shuttle Orbital Velocity-
17,500 MPH
(28,163 KMH)

Time taken to get to space-
8 1/2 Minutes

Linear Momentum- (Product of mass and velocity)
127,750,000,000 pounds/93,254,001,512 kilogram-meters per second

2. Mar 23, 2017

### ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
So what exactly is the question here that we are allowing you to "bare" with?

Zz.

3. Mar 23, 2017

### TandN51316

Whether or not I did the right math to figure out the momentum of the Space Shuttle. I looked up the mass and velocity of the shuttle and multiplied them.

4. Mar 23, 2017

### ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
If all you wanted was the momentum of the space shuttle while in orbit, then yes, you use the tangential velocity during orbit, and multiply that with the mass. You might want to learn a bit about the concept of "significant figures" though.

I don't understand why you are including all the other unnecessary information, such as why are the distance to space and time taken to space included here?

Zz.

5. Mar 23, 2017

### TandN51316

I apologize, I kept that part in for another website I asked this question on and just forgot to remove it. And thank you for your time, glad to know I did the math right. Sorry if I was of any inconvenience, I just wanted to check if I was right or not.

6. Mar 23, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

...you added up (subtracted) the weight wrong...

7. Mar 23, 2017

### TandN51316

How so? Where at? I just rounded the numbers down to the nearest million I forgot to include that.

8. Mar 23, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

Yeah. The orbiter weighs a lot less than a million pounds.

9. Mar 23, 2017

### TandN51316

Yeah. Mass is different than weight.

10. Mar 23, 2017

### Staff: Mentor

Edit: weight vs mass is not critical here. Please just try googling it again.

11. Mar 23, 2017

### sophiecentaur

I got as far as taking off my socks . . . . .