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California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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Problem 56 Easy Difficulty

A small rocket burns 0.0500 $\mathrm{kg}$ of fuel per second, ejecting it as a gas with a velocity relative to the rocket of magnitude 1600 $\mathrm{m} / \mathrm{s}$ . (a) What is the thrust of the rocket? (b) Would the rocket operate in outer space where there is no atmosphere? If so, how would you steer it? Could you brake it?

Answer

(a) $F=80 \mathrm{N}$
(b) since the motion of the rocket depends on the conservation of momentum, the rocket will operate in the outer space and it will operate better because of the absence of air resistance.
We can steer by ejecting gas in a direction perpendicular to the velocity and opposite to the required direction. And we can brake by ejecting gas in a direction opposite to the velocity of the rocket with, of course, stopping the main engine.

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California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
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