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Homework Help: Spacecraft collision - angular momemtum

  1. Jul 12, 2006 #1
    Identical spacecrafts A and B each of mass m are orbiting the earth in different orbits...they both have the same perigee and at t=0 spacecraft A hits spacecraft B from behind

    before impact speed of A was V[a]
    and B was V and both a distance R from the centre of the earth

    After the collision the two space craft stick together as a single lump of wreckage

    im trying to find an expression for the angular momemtum of the wreckage in terms of m, R, V[a], V....i was wondering if anyone knows what formulas i require to work out the expression...if anyone could please possibly show me how to solve this becuase im finding it mind boggling thankz
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2006 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Are we to assume that the collision takes place when both are at their perigee and thus are moving perpendicular to their position vectors (measured from the center of the earth)? Assuming that, answer these questions:
    (1) What's the linear momentum of each spacecraft before the collision?
    (2) What's the angular momentum of each spacecraft before the collision?
    (3) What's conserved during the collision?
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