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Speed of Voyager 2 after slingshot encounter?

  1. Mar 7, 2006 #1
    Voyager 2 used a slingshot maneuver to approach Saturn and then move off in the opposite direction.Voyager 2 approached Saturn with a velocity of 12 Kms^-1. (relative to the sun). The orbital speed of Saturn is 13 Kms&-1. The question is what was Voyager 2's speed after the slingshot encounter? (and relative to what?).
    So can Voayger 2's speed after the slingshot encounter be calculated using the distance between the earth and saturn?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2006 #2
    You need more information to solve the problem. Also, I don't see how the distance between Earth and Saturn would matter.

  4. Mar 7, 2006 #3
    So what exactly am i missing?. G of the 2 planets?
  5. Mar 7, 2006 #4
    Depending on the level of the problem you could be missing a number of things. The point of closest approach to Saturn, the trajectory of the Voyager in general, the change in Saturn's orbital momentum, etc. Basically the Voyager can come out with just about any momentum (within certain limits) depending on how close it gets to Saturn.

    The reason I said that the Earth-Saturn distance doesn't matter is that the Earth is sufficiently far away as to essentially not act on the Voyager gravitationally. The incoming trajectory of the Voyager is the most important piece of information. At these ranges only Saturn's gravity field is important.

  6. Mar 8, 2006 #5
    I get it. Thanks for the help.
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