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Mechanics Set 9

1. A meteorite of mass m is traveling towards the center of of planet of mass M. It collides with an artificial
satellite on a circular orbit of radius R around the planet. The mass of the satellite is n times the mass
of the meteorite. As result of the collision, the meteorite fuses with the satellite and the new orbit of
the satellite has a minimum distance R/2 from the center of the planet. Determine the speed of the
meteorite before the collision.
2. A projectile is launched from Earth.
A) Determine the escape speed from Earth
B) Suppose that the projectile is launched vertically upward with an initial speed v0 that is smaller
than the escape speed but with the same order of magnitude. Determine the maximum distance
from the surface of the Earth reached by the projectile.
C) Suppose that the projectile is launched at an angle above the horizontal with an initial speed
v0 that is smaller than the escape speed but with the same order of magnitude. Determine the
maximum distance from the surface of the Earth reached by the projectile.
3. Let R be the radius of the Earth. A projectile is launched along the horizontal direction at a height R
above the surface of the Earth with an initial speed v0=k(gR)1/2 where g is the acceleration due to gravity
at the surface of the Earth. Determine the value or range of values of k corresponding to the following
situations:
A) the projectile crashes to Earth
B) the projectile follows a circular orbit around the Earth
C) The projectile follows a complete elliptical, non-circular, orbit around the Earth
D) The projectile escapes from Earths gravitational field along a parabolic trajectory
E) The projectile escapes from the Earth along a hyperbolic trajectory
4. The gravitational and electrostatic forces are both inverse square forces and both obey Gausss law.
Gausss law for gravitation may be written as  4  56789: . What is K?
5. Two identical particles move about each other in circular orbits under the influence of gravitational
forces, with a period T. The motion is suddenly stopped at a given instant of time, and the particles are
then released and allowed to fall into each other. When do they collide? Express the answer as a multiple
of T.(GPS 3-11)
6. A spacecraft is launched from the Earth and it is
quickly accelerated to its maximum velocity in the
direction of the heliocentric orbit of the Earth, such
that its orbit is a parabola with the Sun at its focus
point, and grazes the Earths orbit. Take the orbit of
the Earth and Mars as circles on the same plane,
with radius of rE=1AU and rM=1.5AU, respectively.
Make the following approximation: during most of
the flight only the gravity from the Sun needs to be
considered.
The trajectory of the spacecraft (not drawn to scale)
is shown in the figure. The inner circle is the orbit
of the Earth, the outer circle is the orbit of Mars.
What is the angle between the path of the spacecraft and the orbit of Mars (see the Figure) as it
crosses the orbit of the Mars (Neglect the gravitational effect of Mars ).