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You are on page 1of 32

CHECKPOINT

By the end of the lesson, students should be able to:

Launching a Rocket

Explain the concept of escape velocity in terms of the:

o gravitational constant

o mass and radius of the planet

Identify why the term g forces is used to explain the forces acting on an astronaut during

launch

Discuss the effect of the Earths orbital motion and its rotational motion on the launch of a

rocket

Analyse the changing acceleration of a rocket during launch in terms of the:

o forces experienced by astronauts

Issues in Orbit

Analyse the forces involved in uniform circular motion for a range of objects, including satellites

orbiting the Earth

Solve problems and analyse information to calculate the centripetal force acting on a satellite

undergoing uniform circular motion about the Earth using: =

Define the term orbital velocity and the quantitative and qualitative relationship between orbital

velocity, the gravitational constant, mass of the central body, mass of the satellite and the radius

of the orbit using Keplers Law of Periods

Perform a first-hand investigation, gather information and analyse data to calculate initial and

final velocity, maximum height reached, range and time of flight of a projectile for a range of

situations by using simulations, data loggers and computer analysis

Page 2 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

GRAVITY AND GRAVITATIONAL FIELDS

Newtons Law of Gravitation states that a force of attraction exists between any two objects of

mass and , separated by a distance, , of magnitude:

On the surface of the Earth, where gravity is taken to be 9.8, we can simply say that =.

The region of influence in which one object experience the force of gravity due to another object

is known as a .

The strength of the Earths Gravitational field depends on four main factors:

Composition, structure and density of the lithosphere. The surface of the Earth is uneven and

Altitude. The higher the object is, the the force of gravity

Spin of the Earth. The Earths motion around its axes causes a centrifuge

like effect, reducing the effective value of , and this phenomena makes gravity the

at the equator.

Ellipsoid Shape. The Earth is not a perfect sphere, but is . at the poles, and

Page 3 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

GPE can defined as the .

Mathematically, it is defined as: =

Be careful in considering the sign, rather than simply the magnitude of GPE in considering where

GPE is greatest.

PROJECTILE MOTION

In projectile motion, the horizontal and vertical motion can be considered

and

Page 4 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

When we launch a rocket into space we must take into account many different factors to ensure a

successful launch, orbit and re-entry back into the Earths atmosphere. This week, we examine the

key issues in launching a rocket into space, and the physics behind spacecraft in orbit.

ESCAPE VELOCITY

.

Escape Velocity

Talent Tip: Note that the escape velocity of an object does not actually depend on the mass of that

object. It is only dependent on the mass and radius of the planet from which the object is escaping.

Question 1 (2 marks)

What is the escape velocity of Earth, given the mass of the earth is 6.0 10 and the radius of

the earth is 6.38 10 ?

Page 5 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Question 2 (2 marks)

What is the escape velocity of the moon given the following information?

= 7.35 10

= 1.74 10

Question 3 (2 marks)

A planet is found to have an escape velocity of 13.3km/s. If the planets mass is 8.9 x 1024 kg, find the

planets radius to the nearest metre.

Page 6 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

The concept of escape velocity was first thought of by Isaac Newton. He conducted a thought

experiment where he proposed launching a cannon ball from the top of a very tall mountain on the

Earth shown below.

Earth

Escape velocity

He thought that the faster the cannon ball was fired, the greater its range would be and the further

it would travel before falling to the Earth. A and B (on the diagram above) have been fired at such a

speed that the curvature of their path is greater than the curvature of the Earth and they ball back

down to the Earth. However, Newton thought that eventually there would be velocity at which the

projectile fell as the same rate as the curvature of the Earth. This would cause the projectile to go

into a circular orbit (C). If the velocity was increased further, the projectile would be thrust out even

further and an elliptical orbit (D) would result. Eventually, the velocity would be so great that the

projectile would not be able to curve back and form an ellipse. Therefore, it would escape the

gravitational field of the Earth and never return (E). There orbits are known as parabolic and

hyperbolic orbits.

Various orbits

Circular orbit

about the Earth

Elliptical orbits

Parabolic orbit

Page 7 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

We can deduce a formula for escape velocity by considering the Law of Conservation of (Mechanical)

Energy. We wish to launch a rocket from the surface of the Earth, so that it has just the right initial

speed so that it will reach infinity. By considering the total mechanical energy of the rocket, we can

say:

+ = +

1

+ = 0 + 0

2

1

=

2

2

=

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HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

LAUNCHING A ROCKET

USING THE EARTHS MOTION

When we launch a rocket, we must totally overcome the gravitational pull of the Earth and reach the

escape velocity. As we saw above, this escape velocity is very large and great amount of fuel is

required to reach the velocities required for space travel. Furthermore, as we add more fuel, the

weight of the rocket increases and even more full is required. Therefore, small changes in the

required velocity can have big impacts on the amount of fuel used and therefore, the cost of the

operation. That is why it is important that we used the rotational and orbital velocity of the Earth to

decrease the required velocity and thus decrease fuel consumption.

We can utilize the motion of the Earth about its axes when launching a rocket. Since the Earth has a

tangential velocity of 464m/s at the equator if we launch the rocket in an easterly direction (the

same direction as the rotation of the Earth) then we are giving it an initial velocity relative to the

sun. Therefore, when the rocket leaves the Earth, the rockets relative velocity to the Earth will add

to the initial velocity relative to the sun provided by Earths rotation to produce a greater net

velocity.

= .... + ....

Since the tangential velocity is greatest at the Equator, it is best to launch a rocket as close to the

Equator as possible to maximize the Earths rotational effects. A rockets use of the rotational

velocity of the Earth is shown below:

EARTH

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HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Just as we can use the rotational motion of the Earth we can also use its orbital motion as it rotates

around the sun. If we launch a rocket while the Earth is orbiting towards its desired heading then we

can give the rocket a greater velocity relative to the sun caused by the Earth orbiting the sun at 30

000m/s. This only occurs at certain times of the year called launch windows when the Earth is

orbiting in the correct direction. The way the rocket makes use of this orbital motion can be

represented by:

= .... + .....

In reality not all of the orbital motion of the Earth will be useful to the rocket but it is still useful in

aiding the rocket. If the rocket is launched at the right time in the right direction both the rotational

and orbital motion of the Earth can be used and maximum fuel efficiency can be achieved. The

ability for a rocket to use both of these is shown below:

SUN

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HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Question 4 (4 marks)

Explain how we can use the Earths existing motion to minimize fuel costs when launching a rocket

into space.

Page 11 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

G-FORCES

The term g-force is used to measure a persons apparent weight in terms of their actual weight. In

essence it compares the net force a person experiences compared to the force they experience from

gravity. For example, say a person is experiencing a force 3 times greater than his weight, then he is

said to be experiencing 3gs of force. This way of describing force has several advantages:

Since it gives force relative to the persons weight it is much easier to compare forces between

different people

Numerically it is simper and easier to use and interpret than the absolute force system

G-force

The apparent weight of an astronaut at rocket launch is equal the force of the chair as it pushes up

against the astronaut, i.e. the Normal Reaction Force:

=

= +

=

=

+

=

=1+

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HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Therefore the g-force an astronaut experiences during a launch is given by the equation:

= 1 +

Question 5 (2 marks)

A rocket is launched from the moon and after a particular time has an acceleration of 6.5/ . If

the gravitational acceleration on the moon is 1.6m/s2, find the g-force on an astronaut inside the

rocket

Question 6 (2 marks)

Find the g-force on an astronaut in a rocket with the same acceleration leaving the Earth which has a

gravitational acceleration of 9.8m/s2.

Page 13 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Question 7 (3 marks)

Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 F1 Champion, rounds a corner of radius 50m, at a speed of 150km/h in a

605kg (including driver weight) Mercedes Mclaren MP4-23. If Lewis weighs 70kg, calculate the g-

force he experiences. [HINT: You cannot simply use the formula for the rocket. Instead, ask what is

the force the driver feels when rounding a corner?]

Page 14 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

As we launch a rocket its acceleration is not constant but is always changing. As the rocket moves

through the Earths atmosphere the acceleration gets greater as he mass of the rocket decreases

while fuel is burnt.

When the rocket is standing still on the launch pad, the total momentum of the rocket and the fuel

gases inside it are zero. Therefore, by the law of conservation of momentum, once the rocket is

launched the total momentum of the gases and the rocket must still be zero. Therefore, as the gases

are forced out backwards at very high speeds, in order for momentum to be conserved, the rocket is

thrust forwards. This is represented diagrammatically:

=

+ = 0

=

The change in momentum of the rocket must be in the opposite direction as the change in

momentum of the gases. This explains why as he gases are forced out backwards, the rocket moves

forwards.

This also explains why the acceleration increases as the time the rocket burns fuel increases. If we

assume the gasses are being ejected at the same rate throughout the flight, then can be

considered constant. Hence, = ( )is also constant. As fuel is consumed, the

mass of the rocket decreases, which requires that the velocity of the rocket increases to obey the

law of conservation of momentum.

Page 15 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Note: the peaks 2 and 5 show temporary engine shut-offs to limit the peaks that astronauts must

endure.

Page 16 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Initially, before the rocket is launched, the acceleration is zero so the astronaut feels a g-force of 1.

As the rocket is launched, fuel is continually being expended and hence the mass of the rocket

decreases. Assuming that the fuel is expended at a constant rate (to produce a constant thrust) , the

rockets acceleration will increase since a =

and the mass is steadily decreasing. (Additionally, the

acceleration is increasing at an increasing rate, since the net force acting on the rocket is equal to

= . Since the mass is decreasing as the fuel is consumed, the net force acting on the

rocket increases. Hence increases at an increasing rate since whilst simultaneously)

Furthermore, since the human body safely withstand g-forces of 3.5-4g, the engine is cutoff before

nearing these limits, before resuming, leading to the sharp peaks.

Finally, as fuel from one entire tank is consumed, the tank the engine is shutoff momentarily whilst

the fuel tank is jettisoned to remove unnecessary weight, leading to a sudden loss of acceleration

representing by the cliffs. The acceleration drops to zero momentarily as the rocket is in free fall.

Page 17 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Question 8 (9 marks)

A rocket has a mass of 500kg of which 80% is fuel. When the fuel burns at a steady rate it delivers

8000N of thrust. Find:

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HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Page 19 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Question 9 (9 marks)

A rocket has a mass of 31 000kg including 24 000kg of fuel. If it develops a constant thrust of

360,000N then find:

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HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

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HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

SATELLITES IN ORBIT

UNIFORM CIRCULAR MOTION

In order to first understand satellite motion, it is essential that we understand uniform circular

motion, as satellites generally tend to orbit in circular paths.

An object that is travelling at a constant speed in a circular path is said to be undergoing uniform

circular motion. That object experiences a net force inwards known as the centripetal force.

Centripetal Force

Net centripetal force

Mass of the orbiting object

Linear or tangential velocity of the orbiting object

Distance between centre of gravity of the satellite and centre of

motion

The direction of the force is always directed towards the centre of motion.

Note also that the Centripetal Force is a net force, i.e. the vector sum of forces.

Since = , you should also realise that =

Page 22 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

The diagram below shows the forces acting on a satellite In this case the gravitational pull of the

Earth pulling the satellite back towards the centre of the Earth provides the centripetal force to keep

the satellite in orbit.

Question 10 (2 marks)

A F1 car weighing 605kg negotiates a curve of radius 40m at a speed of 150km/h. What is the

centripetal force acting on the car?

Page 23 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Question 11 (4 marks)

Identify what force provides the centripetal force in the following situations:

Satellite Gravity

Talent Tip: Forces are vectors, so you must ALWAYS include the direction when specifying the

centripetal force. This is a common mistake.

Question 12 (4 marks)

A stone of mass 0.7kg is whirled at 2 revolutions per second on a 0.6m long string. The string will

break if its tension is more than 60N. What will happen to the string?

Page 24 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Question 13 (3 marks)

A satellite is 35.83 10 above the Earths surface, and its mass is 2000kg. Its period is

8.62 10 . Find the centripetal force of this system (to the nearest Newton), given that the radius

of Earth is 6.38 10 .

Question 14 (3 marks)

A plane is flying at 70 with a radius of 4900. What is the centripetal acceleration of the

plane? If the plane weight 700 what is the centripetal force?

Page 25 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Question 15 (2 marks)

What is the centripetal force of a 70kg student at Earths equator given that the tangential velocity is

464m/s.

Question 16 (3 marks)

A 600kg car rounds a bend with radius 50m at 17m/s. If the maximum friction the tires can provide is

half the weight force of the car. Find if the car will skid or make the bend.

Page 26 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

ORBITAL VELOCITY

The orbital velocity of an object is its instantaneous tangential velocity, i.e. how fast the object is

travelling at the single instant in time.

We know that for a satellite in orbit, it is Newtons Universal Force of Gravitation that provides the

centripetal force:

=

=

=

Page 27 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Question 17 (2 marks)

The orbital velocity of a satellite of mass 200kg around a planet is 1000ms-1. The satellite is 10000km

from the planets centre. What is the mass of the planet to 2 significant figures, without using the

orbital velocity formula?

Question 18 (2 marks)

The orbital velocity of a satellite of mass 350kg is 350m/s. If the satellite is 7000km from the centre

of the mass it orbits, find its mass.

Page 28 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

PRACTICAL

PROJECTILES USING COMPUTER ANALYSIS

Aim: To find the initial and final velocity, maximum height reached, range, and time of flight of a

projectile.

Method

2. The ball was thrown from the ground level at 3 different angles. The video camera captured the

whole motion.

3. The time of flight was recorded using a stopwatch, as well as range. Range was found by

measuring the distance between the projection point and the landing point using a metre ruler.

4. The video was then analysed on a computer, and the initial angle of projection was found.

5. Calculations were done to find initial and final velocity and maximum height reached.

Diagram

Page 29 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Results

Projectile 1 23 0.42 1.81

Projectile 2 48 0.82 2.70

Projectile 3 62 0.86 1.80

Calculations

= + , = 0

1

= = =

2 2

=

2

(9.8)(0.42)

=

2 sin 23

= 5.27

For Projectile 2,

(9.8)(0.82)

=

2 sin 48

= 5.41

For Projectile 3,

(9.8)(0.86)

=

2 sin 62

= 4.77

1

= +

2

1

, = , = sin

2

sin 1

= +

2 8

TALENT 100: HSC SUCCESS. SIMPLIFIED. www.talent-100.com.au

Page 30 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

(5.27)(0.42) sin 23 1

= + (9.8)(0.42)

2 8

= 0.22

For Projectile 2,

(5.41)(0.82) sin 48 1

= + (9.8)(0.82)

2 8

= 0.82

For Projectile 3,

(4.77)(0.86) sin 62 1

= + (9.8)(0.86)

2 8

= 0.91

Talent Tip: Since we know that the projectile is symmetrical, its final speed is the same as initial

speed, except the angle is negative this time. (since it is coming DOWN):

Range

Projection Flight Velocity Height Velocity

(m)

(degrees) (seconds) (m/s) (m) (m/s)

Projectile 1 23 0.42 1.81 5.27, 23 0.22 5.27, -23

Projectile 2 48 0.82 2.70 5.41, 48 0.82 5.41, -48

Projectile 3 62 0.86 1.80 4.77, 62 0.91 4.77, -62

Page 31 of 32

HSC Physics Space II TALENT 100

Discussion

The italics in the graph indicate that the quantities were calculated, while the bold font shows

quantities that were measured.

Inaccuracy of reading the camera to find angle of projection

Inaccuracy in the measuring of distance

Some improvements may be:

Instead of using a stopwatch to measure time, since the whole motion was captured, counting

frames and deducing time of flight would have been more accurate, as it would not have the

reaction time factor

Instead of launching the projectile at different velocities, we could have launched them all at the

same velocity, and then compared the differences caused by angle of projection which would

have been easier to distinguish.

To compare the calculated value of maximum height and range to what was measured. Range

could be calculated using only time of flight and angle of projection, and it could then be

compared to the measured value. Also, maximum height could be measured with a more

sophisticated set-up, and also can be compared to the calculated value. This would give us a

good idea of the accuracy of the experiment.

Conclusion

The experiment was successful, and initial and final velocity, range, maximum height reached and

time of flight were successfully measured or calculated.

The following website gives an excellent projectile simulation program:

http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph11e/projectile.htm

You can change the initial starting height, initial velocity and the initial angle of projection. It also

calculates range, maximum height reached and time of flight: all of this is asked in the syllabus; and

this information is clearly given in the website.

Page 32 of 32

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