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March 27, 2017

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A satellite with a mass of 260 kg approaches a large planet at a speed vi,1 = 13.1 km/s. The planet is moving at a speed vi,2 = 10.2 km/s in the opposite direction. The satellite partially orbits the planet and then moves away from the planet in a direction opposite to its original direction (see the figure). If this interaction is assumed to approximate an elastic collision in one dimension, what is the speed of the satellite after the collision? This so-called slingshot effect is often used to accelerate space probes for journeys to distance parts of the solar system

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