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What causes motion?

The Juno space probe travels past Jupiter. A space probe is an unmanned spacecraft. Once it is launched from Earth it needs no...Read More >>The Juno space probe travels past Jupiter. A space probe is an unmanned spacecraft. Once it is launched from Earth it needs no force to propel it across space. It carries on at the same speed and in the same direction, because there is no force (in this case, air resistance) to slow it down.Motion is any kind of movement. Motion is caused by forces. A stationary object does not move unless a force acts on it to start it going. Once it is moving, it carries on at the same speed and in the same direction unless a force makes it speed up, change direction or slow down and stop.



Different types of motion

Different types of motion at a playground

This illustration shows examples of a number of different types of motion: linear motion (the football and slide), reciprocating motion (the swing) and rotary motion (the bicycle wheels and roundabout). 

An astronaut can place an object, for example, a tool, in space, and it just stays where it is. There is no force to cause it to move.

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