As an example of the effect of a meteor impact on a space probe, consider the following idealized situation. Assume the probe is a uniform sphere of iron with a radius of 0.550 m. It is initially at rest when it is struck head on by a 100g meteoroid traveling at 1.2 m/s.
(a) If the meteor embeds itself into the probe, calculate the center of mass speed of the combined system afterward.
(b) Determine the percentage of kinetic energy left after the collision.
(c) How would the energy analysis differ if the meteor struck the probe off center?

  • CreatedAugust 29, 2015
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