## Exploration 4.5: Space Probe with Multiple Engines

Please wait for the animation to completely load.

A space probe is designed with four engines that can fire in the +x, -x, +y, and -y directions, respectively (position is given in meters and time is given in seconds). For each of the situations below, first predict the motion of the space probe. Your prediction should be a detailed description of the motion of the probe. Only after you make a prediction, check it by viewing the animation. An example is shown in the first row of the table. Restart.

Situation

Your prediction

Animation

The space probe has a constant velocity in the +x direction when suddenly an engine exerts a force on the probe in the +x direction.

The probe will have an acceleration in the +x direction. Therefore, since it is already traveling in that direction when the engine fires, it will speed up and will continue moving in the +x direction.

Animation 1

The space probe has a constant velocity in the +x direction when suddenly an engine exerts a force on the probe in the -x direction.

Animation 2

The space probe has a constant velocity in the +x direction when suddenly an engine exerts a force on the probe in the +y direction.

Animation 3

The space probe has a constant velocity in the +x direction when suddenly an engine exerts a force on the probe in the -y direction.

Animation 4

The space probe has a constant velocity in the +x direction when suddenly an engine exerts a force on the probe in the -y direction and another engine exerts a force in the -x direction.

Animation 5

The space probe has a constant velocity in the +x direction when suddenly an engine exerts a force on the probe in the +y direction and another engine exerts a force in the +x direction.

Animation 6

The space probe has a constant velocity in the +x direction when suddenly all four engines fire simultaneously.

Animation 7

Exploration authored by and placed into the public domain by Aaron Titus.

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