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Homework Help: Space Capsule

  1. Feb 13, 2006 #1
    How do you use energy principles to explain what happens when a space capsule falls to earth, and the temperature of its hull increases a lot?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 13, 2006 #2


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    The change in gravitational potential energy can be calculated from Newton's law of universal gravitation. The kinetic energy gained by the falling spacecraft has to go somewhere. It can be turned into heat, or (hopefully not) an impact crater when it hits the ground.

    - Warren
  4. Feb 13, 2006 #3
    thanks chroot!
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