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Question
Unreasonable Results Suppose you wish to shoot supplies straight up to astronauts in an orbit 36,000 km above the surface of the Earth. (a) At what velocity must the supplies be launched? (b) What is unreasonable about this velocity? (c) Is there a problem with the relative velocity between the supplies and the astronauts when the supplies reach their maximum height? (d) Is the premise unreasonable or is the available equation inapplicable? Explain your answer.
Question by OpenStax is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
Final Answer
  1. $26.6 \textrm{ km/s}$ or, Mach 78
  2. Mach 78 is not attainable on Earth.
  3. The astronaut will be orbiting, so the timing will need to be impossibly precise.
  4. The supplies should be made to orbit also to give a larger window of opportunity to intersect the path of the astronaut. Also, the assumption that "g" is constant over 36000 km above the Earth's surface is false.
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OpenStax College Physics Solution, Chapter 3, Problem 68 (Problems & Exercises) (2:50)

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