Question
Two manned satellites approaching one another, at a relative speed of 0.250 m/s, intending to dock. The first has a mass of $4.00 \times 10^3 \textrm{ kg}$, and the second a mass of $7.50 \times 10^3 \textrm{ kg}$. (a) Calculate the final velocity (after docking) by using the frame of reference in which the first satellite was originally at rest. (b) What is the loss of kinetic energy in this inelastic collision? (c) Repeat both parts by using the frame of reference in which the second satellite was originally at rest. Explain why the change in velocity is different in the two frames, whereas the change in kinetic energy is the same in both.

a) $-0.163 \textrm{ m/s}$

b) $-81.6 \textrm{ J}$

c) $0.0870 \textrm{ m/s}$, $-81.5 \textrm{ J}$. A change in reference frame for the same event doesn't change the kinetic energy lost during the event.

Solution Video