Does the application of the law of conservation of momentum differ when undocking two spacecraft by shooting and when slowly separating?
The law of conservation of momentum is valid only for closed systems, and an external force acts on the spacecraft and its components – the Earth’s gravity force. However, when shooting off parts of the ship, the forces of interaction arising in this case are significantly greater than the external force, and the ship’s system can be considered closed. The law of conservation of momentum will also be true for the projection onto the axis perpendicular to the external force.
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