Posted by Rio on .
Outside the International Sapce Station, a 60 kg astronaut holding a 4.0 kg object (both initially at rest) throws the object at 10 m/s relative to the space station. A 50 kg astronaut, initially at rest, catches the object. What is the speed of the separation of the two astronauts?

Physics 
drwls,
because of the need to conserve momentum, the 60 kg astronaut acquires a velocity V1 such that
60 V2 = 4.0 * 10 m/s as soon as he throws the object. Thus V1 = 2/3 m/s
When the object is caught by the 50 kg astronaut, he or she acquires a velocity such that
4.0 x 2/3 = (50 + 4) V2
V2 = (8/3)/54 = 0.15 m/s
Check my numbers and reasoning