274 Linear Momentum and CollisionsP9.57We hope the momentum of the wrench provides enough recoil so that the astronaut can reach theship before he loses life support! We might expect the elapsed time to be on the order of severalminutes based on the description of the situation.No external force acts on the system (astronaut plus wrench), so the total momentum is constant.Since the final momentum (wrench plus astronaut) must be zero, we have final momentum =initialmomentum =0.mvmvwrench wrenchastronaut astronaut+=0Thus vmastronautwrench wrenchastronautkgm skgms=−050020080 00125....bgbgAt this speed, the time to travel to the ship ist===30 02404 00..m0.125 m ssminutesThe astronaut is fortunate that the wrench gave him sufficient momentum to return to the ship in areasonable amount of time! In this problem, we were told that the astronaut was not drifting awayfrom the ship when he threw the wrench. However, this is not quite possible since he did not
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