Question
Space debris left from old satellites and their launchers is becoming a hazard to other satellites. (a) Calculate the speed of a satellite in an orbit 900 km above Earth's surface. (b) Suppose a loose rivet is in an orbit of the same radius that intersects the satellite's orbit at an angle of $90^\circ$ relative to Earth. What is the velocity of the rivet relative to the satellite just before striking it? (c) Given the rivet is 3.00 mm in size, how long will its collision with the satellite last? (d) If its mass is 0.500 g, what is the average force it exerts on the satellite? (e) How much energy in joules is generated by the collision? (The satellite's velocity does not change appreciably, because its mass is much greater than the rivet's.)
1. $7.40\times 10^{3}\textrm{ m/s}$
2. $1.05 \times 10^{4}\textrm{ m/s}$
3. $2.87 \times 10^{-7}\textrm{ s}$
4. $1.83 \times 10^{7}\textrm{ N}$
5. $2.74 \times 10^{4}\textrm{ J}$
Solution Video