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Utter Confusion on Projectile Motion

  1. Oct 16, 2005 #1
    I'd just like to say hello to everyone as I'm new here but will be here frequently because Physics is like a foreign language to me.

    Alright, I have a physics problem that is never going to be solved by my own brain, at least not until I see it solved. I would prefer that you just don't give me the answer, but explain how to do it. If you could include any diagrams, that would be very helpful due to my apparent preference on visual-spacial learning. So now, here's the problem:

    A Russian-built MiG-29 was flying upward at an angle of 35 degrees with the vertical at 650 mph at an altitude of 82,000 feet when it launched a missile in a futile attempt to disable an American spy satellite. The missile accelerated along this line of travel at a rate of 40 feet per second, per second for 85 seconds before it ran out of fuel. The missile missed the satellit, did not explode, and eventually fell to earth. Ignoring air resistance, the curvature of the Earth, and fluctuations in the gravitational acceleration, Find:

    a) The maximum altitude reached by the missile,

    b) The total time of the missile's flight, and

    c) The downrange distance from the launch point to the point of impact on the ground.

    *Use 32 feet per second, per second, as the gravitational acceleration.

    Thanks in advance for any help that can be offered.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2005 #2
    Are you solving these problems using calculus or using some known formulas?
  4. Oct 16, 2005 #3

    Well, I'm in basic Physics which isn't supposed to apply any calculus functions.

    I belive, though I don't see how, that he would like use to use the kinematic equations which are:

    ^2 = Squared
    >0 = Initial or Subscript 0

    V = V>0 + at
    X = X>0 + V>0t + ½at^2
    X = X>0 + vt – ½at^2
    V^2 = V>0^2 + 2a(X-X>0)
    X = X>0 + ½(V>0 + V)t

  5. Oct 16, 2005 #4
    Do you know how to find the vertical and horizontal components of the speed?

    Maybe this will help you for problem one. At the apex of the missle the Y component of velocity is 0.
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