Problem 3.14: A space probe travels with a constant acceleration

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In the animation shown, a space probe has engines that can fire on all four sides (position is given in meters and time is given in seconds). Two of the engines engage at t = 5 s. Restart  The acceleration is constant and zero before the engines engage, and it is constant (but not equal to zero) after the engines engage.

  1. What is the initial velocity of the probe just before the engines fire?
  2. What is the acceleration of the probe after the engines fire?
  3. Assuming the engines continue to fire in the same way, what will be the position and velocity of the probe at t = 25 s?
  4. At what instant is vx = 0? At what instant is vy = 0?

Problem authored by Aaron Titus with support by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-9952323 and placed in the public domain.

Physlets were developed at Davidson College and converted from Java to JavaScript using the SwingJS system developed at St. Olaf College.

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