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Grade: 11

                        

The “mechanical arm” on the space shuttle can handle a 2200-kg satellite when extended to 12 m; see Fig. 3-22. Yet, on the ground, this remote manipulator system (RMS) cannot support its own weight. In the “weightlessness” of an orbiting shuttle, why does the RMS have to be able to exert any force at all?

5 years ago

Answers : (1)

Kevin Nash
askIITians Faculty
332 Points
							True weightlessness can be achieved only in deep space. In a space shuttle drifting with its engines off, the remote manipulator system (RMS) would float freely. If the engines fire, the resulting acceleration would cause the shuttle to be a non- inertial frame; in the RMS frame of reference, the floor of the accelerating shuttle would exert an upward force that would be perceived by the remote manipulator system (RMS) as similar to its weight. That is why; in the weightlessness of an orbiting shuttle, although the remote manipulator system (RMS) cannot support its own weight, RMS has to be able to exert any force at all.
5 years ago
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