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# What does "terminal speed" mean?

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Terminal speed, also known as terminal velocity, is the maximum speed of a falling object when it can no longer accelerate from the gravitational pull or any constant force. This is due to air resistance negating the force of gravity acting on the object.

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Terminal speed also applies on objects sinking in fluids. In this case, the liquid's buoyancy (instead of air resistance) counteracts the force of gravity. Objects falling in a vacuum have no terminal speed as there is no resistance to counteract the force of gravity. The term is popularized by skydivers, who use it for free falling and parachuting.

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## Related Questions

• A:

The maximum speed for a space rocket depends on many factors, including how much fuel it has, its current weight and its position relative to objects in space at the time of measurement. Currently, the fastest rocket is Voyager 1, traveling in space at over 38,500 miles per hour.

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• A:

Terminal velocity is the velocity at which an object in freefall no longer accelerates due to gravity because the drag force of the surrounding air equals the gravitational force of Earth. Objects with more mass have more weight, and it takes more drag force to reach terminal velocity.

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• A:

Terminal velocity is the maximum velocity an object reaches when it is falling under the force of gravity or another constant driving force. The object is subject to a resistance that increases as the velocity increases, and when the resistance equals the driving force, terminal velocity occurs.