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Problem: Ten days after it was launched toward Mars in December 1998, the Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft (mass 629 kg) was 2.87x106 km from the earth and traveling at 1.20x104 km/hr relative to the earth.(a) At this time, what was the spacecraft's kinetic energy relative to the earth?(b) What was the potential energy of the earth-spacecraft system?

FREE Expert Solution

(a)

Kinetic energy:

KE=12mv2

v = 1.20 × 104 km/hr (1hr/60min)(1min/60s)(1000m/1km) = 3.333 × 103 m/s

KE = (1/2)(629)(3.333 × 103) = 3.49 × 109

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Problem Details

Ten days after it was launched toward Mars in December 1998, the Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft (mass 629 kg) was 2.87x106 km from the earth and traveling at 1.20x104 km/hr relative to the earth.

(a) At this time, what was the spacecraft's kinetic energy relative to the earth?
(b) What was the potential energy of the earth-spacecraft system?

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