Lab: Lunar Lander
1. Log onto the following website: http://phet.colorado.edu/sims/lunar-lander/lunar-lander_en.html
Take turns and experiment with
the controls once before you attempt to play the game.
Notice the tables showing vertical and horizontal motion (in m/s), range
(in meters), Thrust (in
3. Try clicking on the button so you can see the vectors describing the motion.
4. Now each of you try your hand at the controls and see how many points you can earn
5. When you are finished, answer the questions below.
1. Were you able to successfully land?
2. What was your score?
3. What happened if you did not apply any thrust? What is the force that accelerated the Lunar Lander downward?
4. If the force of gravity is only 1/6th that of earth, what is the value of the moons gravitational force? (SHOW WORK)
5. What alterations would have to be made if the Lander was trying to land on the Earth? (how would the Lunar Lander react differently?)
6. State the two possible states of motion the Lunar Lander could have with the vector configuration below. What is the net force below?
7. What would the resultant force vector look like if the forces on the Lunar Lander looked like this? Draw the resultant vector on the diagram and mathematically calculate the resultant (HINT: Pythagorean therum)
8. If the Lunar Lander started at 1000 meters above the moon and began to fall, calculate the time it would take to crash land. You will need to use the value of gravity for the moon you calculated in question number 4. (SHOW WORK)
9. If the Lander had a horizontal velocity of 10 m/s in the above problem, how far horizontally would the Lunar Lander have landed from where it began to fall
Newtonís Second Law, explain why it takes less thrust (force) to create the
same acceleration as the Landerís rocket engine is being fired over time.
H E Y ! M R . W I L S O N
Website by Duncan Wilson
Page last updated January 07, 2012