Math in the News: 7/18/11

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In this issue of Math in the News, we look at the mechanics of space travel, as we bid a fond farewell to the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

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Math in the News: 7/18/11

  1. 1. 7/18/11
  2. 2. Space Travel • There are a number of moving parts when it comes to launching a spacecraft. • Click to watch the animation. http://www.media4mathplus.com/MathInTheNews/MITNIssue18/MITN18- Animation1.html
  3. 3. Space Travel • In this animation, notice the path that the rocket takes. • Click to watch the animation. http://www.media4mathplus.com/MathInTheNews/MITNIssue18/MITN18- Animation2.html
  4. 4. Space Travel • The movement of the Shuttle is a combination of a sideways motion and a vertical motion.
  5. 5. Space Travel • Where does the Shuttle's sideways motion come from?
  6. 6. Space Travel • It's a result of the Earth's rotation.
  7. 7. Space Travel • As the Earth rotates about its axis, the Shuttle moves along, too.
  8. 8. Space Travel • At any point in its rotation the sideways speed vector is perpendicular to the Earth's surface.
  9. 9. Space Travel • At liftoff, the the Shuttle has what becomes a sideways speed.
  10. 10. Space Travel • The horizontal and vertical components of motion can each be represented by parametric equations.
  11. 11. Space Travel • This pair of parametric equations describes the horizontal, x(t), motion, and the vertical, y(t), motion. Note the parabolic shape of the graph.
  12. 12. Space Travel • The parametric equations account for the sideways, linear, motion and the vertical, quadratic, motion of the shuttle.

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