Problem 8-61 Cons. of Momentum

A space vehicle and its fuel tank are moving with a velocity of \(350\; m/s\) toward a space station. The fuel tank is then jettisoned to the rear so that its velocity is only \(250\; m/s\) toward the station. What is the new speed of the space vehicle? The mass of the vehicle is \(3.25\) times that of the tank. [Ans. \(380\; m/s\)]

Note: When we are finished with the solution to this problem I will lead you through an alternative but quite equivalent solution.

In questions of this type it is a good idea to make simple drawings of the "before" and "after" situations. Which pair properly represents this problem?

Four possible before and after FDBs of the space vehicle and fuel tank.