# Science

An alien spaceship is revolving around a spherical asteroid in a very low circular orbit. The period of revolution of the spaceship is 15 minutes. A research party of the alien students lands on the steroid and drills a tunnel through it along a diameter. They then launch a rock into the tunnel with an initial speed equal to that of the orbiting spaceship. How long would it be before the rock comes back to the launch point?

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1. Is the asteroid rotating?

Ok, ignore that.

The trick here is to realize that if the period is 15 min, that will be the period for any satellite of velocity v (assuming very low orbit). So going through the center is an orbit, of extremely high eccentricity, but the period is still 15 min.

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