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Homework Help: SpaceCraft course change

  1. Mar 24, 2006 #1

    I cant solve this one, can anyone steer me in the right direction.

    A 7600-kg space probe is travelling through space at 120 m/s. Mission control determines that a change in course of 30.0° is necessary and instructs the probe to fire rockets perpendicular to its present direction of motion. If the escaping gas leaves the crafts rockets at an average speed of 3200 m/s, what mass of gas should be expelled?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2006 #2


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    Assume that the initial direction is along the positive x axis.
    Construct a velocity vector that is directed 30 degrees above the x axis.
    What y component do you need to get that angle?

    Now use conservation of momentum to figure out how much mass of gas must be expelled so that you get the y component that you need.

  4. Mar 25, 2006 #3
    Thanx nrqed, I think I have it now.
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