Physics for Scientists and Engineers
10th Edition
ISBN: 9781337553278
Author: Raymond A. Serway, John W. Jewett
Publisher: Cengage Learning

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Textbook Question
Chapter 9, Problem 44AP

Why is the following situation impossible? An astronaut, together with the equipment he carries, has a mass of 150 kg. He is taking a space walk outside his spacecraft, which is drifting through space with a constant velocity. The astronaut accidentally pushes against the spacecraft and begins moving away at 20.0 m/s, relative to the spacecraft, without a tether. To return, he takes equipment off his space suit and throws it in the direction away from the spacecraft. Because of his bulky space suit, he can throw equipment at a maximum speed of 5.00 m/s relative to himself. After throwing enough equipment, he starts moving back to the spacecraft and is able to grab onto it and climb inside.

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