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Homework Help: Shuttle force problem

  1. Oct 2, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    NASA launches a shuttle with a mass (including the rockets) of 1.81 x10^6 kg. If it accelerates upward at a rate of 13 m/s2 near the Earth's surface, what is the force that the shuttle-rocket engines exert? (Of course, the shuttle does not actually have this much acceleration until it is well above the Earth's surface, but that is a harder calculation!)

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    Is there another equation that I should use in this problem? because I was thinking that I have the mass of the entire shuttle and the acceleration at that point, so I could just plug that into the equation to solve for mass. I also tried using a free-body diagram in case I was missing anything, and then I saw that weight would play a part in this process, so then I tried F=ma-mg but I'm still having difficulty figuring out the right answer.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2007 #2
    never mind...I figured it out...
  4. Oct 2, 2007 #3


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    Remember that newton's second law reads like this (pay attention to the sigma:smile:):


    So, what you will find is the net force if you find ma. What forces make up this net force?
  5. Oct 2, 2007 #4


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