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-1
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2answers
72 views

Thrust in space without expelling mass

The classic rockets move losing their mass in one direction and moving to the other direction. Thinking about an alternative engine where we lose very small mass. This is how the engine works The ...
1
vote
2answers
268 views

How does a rocket's exhaust gas' momentum propel a rocket?

During the launch of a rocket into space, the exhaust gases from the engine possess momentum. Outline, with the help of an equation, how this causes the rocket to be propelled upwards. Can ...
1
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2answers
54 views

Velocity of Rocket Exhaust

i recently learned a bit of rocket propulsion.It wasn't much complex but was explained in simple terms.The only problem i had understanding it was that in calculating the thrust of rocket the velocity ...
0
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2answers
77 views

Is it possible to reach outer space with this method? [duplicate]

Could we use a hot air balloon to carry a rocket and send it into orbit at a higher altitude? That is, do I need to reach a specific speed to be completely free of Earth's gravity, or can I just ...
0
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0answers
31 views

A simple detailed book on how/why model rocket engines and parachutes work

I'm planning on getting a model rocket in the near future to fire off w/ my 2 daughters (9 and 11). I'm going to require first that they learn how/why rocket engines and parachutes work (so they can ...
0
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2answers
68 views

Electrolysis boat engine

Would it be possible to create a submersible boat engine using the combined principles of electrolysis of water, ramjet propulsion, and hydrogen-oxygen combustion similar to that used in rocket ...
0
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0answers
32 views

Is a “cathode ray drive” feasible?

When I saw the headline, Fuel Free Spacecrafts Using Graphene, I thought it was another reactionless drive, but it turned out to be a bit more plausible :) Original paper here. Long story short, ...
4
votes
1answer
286 views

What are the proposed theoretical explanations for the EmDrive?

The EmDrive is a proposed propulsion mechanism for spacecraft in which some form of microwave device provides the propulsion. The consensus from the physics community, including many voices on this ...
1
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1answer
70 views

Why don't we build helicopter based space shuttles?

As seen in this video: the principle of the helicopter does work in space. So we could make a helicopter based space shuttle! It would be easier to navigate with it than with propulsors.
2
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0answers
122 views

What exactly is NASA's proposed mechanism for “propellantless” “EM Drive” propulsion? [duplicate]

Of course, this question runs perilously close to this site's prohibition against discussing non-mainstream physics. However, the accepted answer in meta about what is acceptable and what is not ...
1
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0answers
56 views

What are the evidences that support the EmDrive? [duplicate]

Firstly, I'd like to point that I’m from Brazil, so forgive me for any errors in my writing. Today, i found myself reading a journal who said that NASA is closer to detecting Warp Bubbles predicted ...
1
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2answers
82 views

What sort of propulsion technology would allow spaceships to lift off the surface of the Earth and ascend into space like we see in sci-fi movies?

In many sci-fi films, spacecraft are easily capable of lifting off the surface of a planet like a Harrier and ascending into space. It's clear that the propulsion system/jet engines aren't your ...
1
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3answers
141 views

Intuition behind Ideal rocket equation

If a rocket expels propellant at a velocity of $v_e$ decreasing its mass from $m_0$ to $m_1$, then according to the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation the change in velocity of the rocket ($\Delta v$) is: ...
5
votes
1answer
202 views

Why does deflating baloon spurting through the air make circular motion? [duplicate]

When you inflate a balloon and then let it go again, it will fly through the air in an unpredictable motion. My kids (1 and 3 year old) love watching this. At some point my oldest asked how it worked ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Propulsion force on a laser pointer?

How to calculate propulsion force on a laser pointer in reaction to the emitted light power in watts? Should I just divide power by speed of light? Since power is energy per unit of time, hence ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

Thrust and specific impulse of a rocket

A picture of the question this originates from is given below. Note: I normally work with SI units and am mostly unfamiliar with those used here. The specific impulse of a rocket can be calculated ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Prove thrust is double the dynamic pressure across a nozzle

I'm trying to teach myself some of the content from 'Rocket Propulsion Elements' by George P. Sutton. After reading over the first couple of chapters feeling like I understood everything, I came ...
3
votes
3answers
332 views

Relativistic beamed photon propulsion

I am analysing the flight profiles possible with a lightsail powered by a photon beam, up into the relativistic regime. In an inertial frame, the sail acceleration is $A$. The onboard acceleration ...
6
votes
2answers
529 views

Why is Xenon favored as the propellant in electric thrusters?

Most of the articles I've read on electric thrusters mention that Xenon is generally, with some exceptions, used as the propellant (or would it be termed reaction mass?). They never mention why ...
2
votes
1answer
140 views

How can I caculate the time to traverse a distance with the Tsiolkovsky equation?

Using the Tsiolkovsky equation I know what the change in velocity is after burning x amount of fuel. $$ \Delta V = V_e \dot\ log(\frac{m_1}{m_1-m_2}) $$ $m_1$ is my starting mass and $m_2$ is the ...
7
votes
1answer
361 views

Self-Accelerating wavepackets: What are they and can they impulse a spaceship?

Nature today published a (paywalled) article that mentions 'Self-accelerating Dirac wavepackets'. They claim that they behave in a similar fashion as the diffractive tricks of polarized beams that ...
2
votes
2answers
342 views

Delta-V of ion thrusters

So I recently started a podcast along with a cohost. It's all about spaceflight. We ran into a question we couldn't quite resolve due to conflicting information on the internet. Put simply: Can ...
0
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0answers
109 views

Electrostatic ion thruster neutralizers

All electrostatic Ion thrusters have a neutralizer electron beam, but why are they required? Is avoiding the accumulation of negative charge the only reason? I would've thought that the main reason ...
0
votes
1answer
327 views

Alternative air transportation and magneto-aerodynamics

Firstly, I am not a big fan of UFOs, however, a flying saucer makes me think if is there another, comparatively agile way to travel through the air without jets, turbines or propellers (balloons are ...
1
vote
2answers
335 views

Does conservation of momentum mean a gyroscopic inertial thruster cannot work?

There is a device called the gyroscopic inertial thruster. Here is a Wikipedia article on it. I believe that this device cannot possibly work and that conservation of momentum proves that it cannot ...
4
votes
1answer
188 views

Why is specific impulse measured in seconds?

Specific impulse is usually defined as: $$I_{sp} = \frac{F_T}{\dot m ~ g_0} $$ This comes out in seconds. I interpret it as follows: If I want $F$ Newtons of thrust, every second I must burn a ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Maneuvering a space shuttle using propulsion systems?

A colleague and I randomly started on this subject, and, not being very good at anything science / physics related we were stumped at how this might work. So the question is: If I park my space ship ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

What's the point of NASA's impossible space engine? Wouldn't a mirror work better?

My understanding (which is very little) is that the point of NASA's recent virtual-particle engine is to convert solar energy into momentum. That's fine, but what's the point? If the spacecraft is ...
15
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4answers
1k views

NASA's “Impossible” Space Engine

Recently, there was some news that said that the researchers at NASA have come across some impossible kind of space engine which does not require any fuel. I have read at a few places like here, here ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

Are all methods of propulsion based on the same principle?

I am struggling with coming up with a way to differentiate between propulsion on the most basic level. Are all methods of propulsion based on throwing stuff in the opposite direction? Can the be no ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does the speed of the propellant limit the speed of a space ship in open space?

Isn't speed a relative thing in space? If so, why would the speed of a propellant matter? Why can't a space ship accelerate infinitely?
4
votes
2answers
74 views

Are Mach Diamonds radially symmetrical?

Videos like this show a form that suggests a radial symmetry in the gas jet. The same is reinforced by schematic illustrations. But other images, like this, look like there is a twisting structure ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Launching a unpropelled rocket

I have read about the application of railguns and other ground powered launch, where there is no need to carry any propellant in the rocket. I am wondering, to what velocity should the vehicle ...
1
vote
1answer
132 views

Why won't this reactionless drive idea work (motor with a moving weight in space)

I know people will say it violates many laws of motion and conservation but could anyone explain why it is so? It's NOT a question about free energy. Imagine a motor in space. It has an arm (rod) ...
2
votes
1answer
189 views

Dyson air blade principle as a propulsion system for an autonomous underwater vehicle?

Any thoughts on applying this principle to an AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) ? if the power source is a battery, would its efficiency be beneficial to that of a propulsion system?
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Standing sound wave tube

If there was a standing sound wave tube and a flammable gas was introduced then ignited, would the combustion be more forceful and more efficient since its following a standing wave, than just a gas ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

How jet engine works in vacuum

Its not about availability of oxygen for combustion of gases. I want to know since there is no air or friction providing things in vaccum, how the force applied by a jet engine get can make thrust to ...
0
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1answer
108 views

Propulsion force [closed]

My physics instructor gave us a general problem A box is sitting motionless on a rough, horizontal patch of ground. You give it a good kick, so that it slides to the right with an initial speed of ...
0
votes
1answer
379 views

Is it true that a Space Shuttle launch is powerful like an “average” nuclear explosion?

Kind of an odd question here. First let's define what an "average" nuclear explosion is, because that's quite a controversial term - "average". Considering that the peak of nuclear tests was at the ...
35
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6answers
3k views

Why are rockets so big?

I'm curious why rockets are so big in their size. Since both the gravitational potential one need to overcome in order to put thing into orbit, and the chemical energy burned from the fuel, are ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

Fluid Virtual Mass

In this paper of Lighthill, the author studies the motion of a fish in a constant flow field $U$, modelling the movement of the fish as a deforming, rotationally symmetric, rigid surface in an ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

What sort of rocket propulsion would be required to send and retrieve ores from our solar system's asteroid belt, within a 2 year period? [closed]

I am looking for a form of propulsion to achieve a fraction of C that could send and retrieve mining robots to our solar system's asteroid belt. Does this type of propulsion even currently exist?
2
votes
1answer
49 views

How far from a spacecraft would it's exhaust cool to BR temperatures?

Just a thought that came to mind ... The rockets on interplanetary scouts fire to impart motive/braking force to the craft. This force, I understand, is simply a reaction engine - the exhaust ...
6
votes
2answers
231 views

Saturn V F-1 engines and beyond

I read that the F-1 engine from the 1st stage of the Saturn V rocket is the most powerful engine ever created by mankind, delivering ~200 gigawatts of power. Thus, I have got two questions: Will ...
2
votes
3answers
511 views

How does the solar sailing concept work?

Wikipedia describes solar sailing as a form of spacecraft propulsion using a combination of light and high speed ejected gasses from a star to push large ultra-thin mirrors to high speeds. I ...
1
vote
2answers
882 views

Can Outer Space be used for Waste Disposal?

If harmful toxic, nuclear and other wastes are dangerous if improperly disposed on Earth, can't they be launched into space? If a large, tightly bound mass of waste were to be propelled into outer ...
5
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0answers
283 views

Mirrors and light beam divergence technology limits

There are many applications for orbital space mirrors in astronomy (better telescopes) and space propulsion (solar power for deep space probes), but this is limited by the minimum beam divergence ...
1
vote
2answers
222 views

How can thrust be generated in space which is a vacuum?

Since thrusters have no matter to push off of, how can a spacecraft generate thrust in the vacuum of space?
7
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4answers
2k views

What Problems for 50 year space probe to Alpha Centauri?

I'm thinking speculatively. NASA is doing experiment with ion thrust tech. Assuming, that inside the next 5 years, we could create a probe which would take on the order of 30 to 50 years to reach ...
7
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0answers
442 views

Does positronium have a stable crystalline phase?

This is a long shot, but while the 100YSS conference is going on at Houston, i haven't been able to get a grip on myself and think in other, more mundane and short-term rewards as normal people do. ...