Momentum in Space

As you watch the following video, think how an astronaut could use the principles of impulse and momentum to return to their ship.

What Would Happen If An Astronaut Floated Away Into Space?(Watch first 3:30 only)

Astronaut Bruce McCandless II Floats Free in Space (1:08)

Note how the astronaut “swims” to the wall. Would this be possible during a spacewalk?

Astronaut gets stuck in the Kibo ISS module (1:04)

Why do you think this astronaut does not attempt to recover the bag?

Raw Video: Tool Bag Lost During Space Walk (1:09)

The tool bag can be tracked here, and NASA has a picture of the tool bag taken from the International Space Station (ISS).

The tool bag can be seen with binoculars.

Astronaut Tool Bag caught on video (11/11/2023) SAC (1:09)

According to, “estimates indicate the tool bag should reenter the atmosphere between March and July of 2024”, at which point “it will disintegrate”.

Impulse for Model Rockets

Model rockets are classified according to the impulse that their motor can produce. In Canada, anyone over the age of 12 can have and use model rockets with a motor of up to 40 Newton-seconds. Anyone over the age of 18 have a limit of 80 Newton-seconds before the rocket is classified as a high-power rocket motor and is subject to more stringent regulations.