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*Question:* A missile of mass
flies
level to the ground at an
altitude of
with constant speed
. What is the magnitude of the missile's angular momentum
relative to a point on the ground directly below its flight
path?

*Answer:* The missile's angular momentum about point is

where is the angle subtended between the missile's velocity vector
and its position vector relative to . However,

where is the distance of closest approach of the missile to point .
Hence,

Richard Fitzpatrick
2006-02-02