Question

# In space, a space station rotates with an astronaut holding on to its outer edge and...

In space, a space station rotates with an astronaut holding on to its outer edge and rotating with it. If she lets go of the station, what path will the astronaut follow?

a.) She'll follow a curved path, rotating with the station but getting gradually farther away.

b.) She'll follow a straight-line path tangential to the station at the point she let go.

c.) She'll continue rotating with the station, maintaining approximately the same relative position.

d.) None of the above.

e.) She'll follow a straight-line path thats somewhere between tangential to and radially outward from the station at the point she let go.

f.) She'll follow a straight-line path radially outward from the station at the point she let go.

B option is correct.

In space, a space station rotates with an astronaut holding on to its outer edge and rotating with it. If she lets go of the station, she will follow follow the tangential straight line path to the station at the point she lets go .

It is so because, in uniform circular motion , the centripetal acceleration is towards the center of the rotation and the linear velocity changes its direction at every instant. The direction of velocity at any instant is tangent to the instantaneous position. As soon, as the astronaut will leave the rotating space station, she will no longer experience the centripetal force and will fly off in tangential direction (in which her instantaneous velocity was pointing just before she left the rotating space station)

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