Once the Belter ship realizes that it can’t gain control of the Razorback, it decides to take off. However, Alex isn’t back on the Razorback yet. Now for the physics part. Bobbie (in her powered Martian armor) grabs ahold of the gangplank and the Razorback to keep the ships together. I’m not going to tell you if it works—you will just have to watch the show.It’s not quite clear if the Belter ship just pulls back the gangplank or fires its thrusters to move away—so, I’m going to assume that it uses thrusters. But of course the real physics question is: What kind of forces would Bobbie need to exert in order to hold the two ships together?
I like this question because it is very similar to a question that shows up in many introductory physics courses. It goes like this:Suppose I have two carts on a frictionless track. One cart has a mass of 2 kilograms and the other one is just 0.5 kg. The carts are connected by a string, and an external force of 1.5 Newtons is applied to the heavier cart (it could be some human pushing it). Here is a diagram.