Colloquially referred to as one of the hardest professions, rocket science is actually a common name for spacecraft/space-systems engineering. However, one can also generalize this to include all forms of rocketry, including rockets that are not capable of space travel.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
2answers
192 views

The NERVA had to use liquid H2… But why?

The NERVA engine, developed at the late 60ies, was a nuclear thermal rocket developed for vacuum use in space craft. It was supposed to use Liquid Hydrogen, a cryogenic fuel with quite a few issues ...
0
votes
2answers
304 views

Can a nozzle increase the thrust of a water rocket?

First of all, what is the correct equation to determine the thrust produced by a water rocket? $$ F_T = \dot{m} V_e \tag{1} $$ $$ F_T = \dot{m} V_e + (p_e - p_0)A_e \tag{2} $$ Using the first ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

Finding position with respect to time along a trajectory across a sphere (orbital mechanics)

When trying to find an object's position with respect to time on a ballistic trajectory along a curved surface, what equation should I use? I know that when adding force to an object to achieve ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

The Lagrangian of a Rocket

I am trying to understand how to write the Lagrangian of a system which consists of a rocket losing gas mass in a rate of $\frac{dm}{dt}$, the gas moving in a velocity of $u_0$ in the rocket's view? ...
1
vote
2answers
88 views

How much fuel do I need to send cubesat 1kg from Earth orbit to Moon orbit? [closed]

How much fuel do I need to send cubesat 1kg from Earth orbit to Moon orbit? And how much stages? For i.e. C12H22O11 + KNO3, polyethylene + oxygen or kerosene + oxygen.
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Earth to LEO, gravity drag and potential energy

A lot of references indicate takes about 9.4 km/s of delta-v to reach LEO. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_Earth_orbit#Orbital_characteristics The delta-v needed to achieve low Earth orbit ...
1
vote
3answers
146 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Where does the energy go in a rocket when no work is done?

While playing Kerbal Space Program, I wondered where my chemical energy would go when fired at 90° to the motion. It would do no work on the rocket, but all that energy has to go somewhere, right? ...
5
votes
2answers
313 views

Trying to modify the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation for the real world

Everyone knows about the famous Tsiolkovsky rocket equation. However, he formulated the equation neglecting many things. So, here, I am trying to find the real equation. My thinkings: Suppose, the ...
-1
votes
1answer
244 views

Rocket projectile motion problem [closed]

I'm not really sure where to start with this question: In a brisk wind from the south-east of $14.1\:\mathrm{m/s}$ a rocket pointed due north is launched from a cliff that is $500\:\mathrm{m}$ above ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Constant Jerk Relativistic Rocket [duplicate]

A quick google search will give many helpful pages and calculators regarding constant acceleration relativistic rockets, but my question is somewhat different. What if jerk is the parameter to be ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Reading about liquid propellant rocket design

I was reading NASA's manual on liquid propellant rocket design from 1971. It makes the following statement. The rocket or, in a more general sense, the reaction motor presently is the only ...
1
vote
2answers
217 views

How to calculate thrust from opening a pressure vessel in space?

One popular trope in science fiction is the astronaut who (deliberately or inadvertently) punctures an air tank or something and goes rocketing off. How would we calculate the amount of force that ...
6
votes
3answers
883 views

Does an ion thrust engine consume more energy as it speeds up?

This question goes to a very basic non-understanding of mine that I have had in the back of my mind for ages - I just read the following here: ion thrusters are capable of propelling a spacecraft ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Molecular analysis of Rocket propulsion

Newton's third law states,For every action exerted by an object A on object B,there will be an equal and opposite reaction on A. In case of rockets,during ejection of hot gases with high ...
0
votes
3answers
545 views

Why are rockets launched vertically?

Why the rockets mostly used for space missions are launched vertically upwards and not horizontally like an airplane carrier, gradually increasing its altitude, wouldn't that be more efficient?
26
votes
1answer
2k views

Using nuclear devices to terraform Mars: Elon Musk's nuclear proposal? [closed]

Elon Musk has recently suggested Using nuclear devices to terraform Mars. In the past, comet related ideas were mooted, but Musk seems, to me anyway, to be a man in a hurry and perhaps his idea has ...
4
votes
4answers
469 views

Would it be economical to add a counterweight to rocket launches?

It seems a large amount of rocket fuel during launches is spent to get the mass moving; indeed according to QuickLaunch, Inc. it takes 40% of the rocket fuel to get to Mach 1.3. It seems as though the ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do we launch rockets during the day?

The clips that I have seen of rockets launching all seem to be carried out during daytime. However, we learnt at school that rockets are fired closer to the equator and towards the east to take ...
5
votes
1answer
402 views

Water bottle rocket: Where does the energy go without water?

In Portland's OMSI there is a hands-on water bottle rocket station. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdtmVY76_PQ). The rockets are normal PET bottlers. The visitors fill their bottle with an amount of ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Rockets and distance [closed]

I am trying to create an equation which allows for me to change the aspects of the rocket so i can calculate the distance traveled vertically. My idea is for a rocket that only moves vertically; ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

The Real Rocket

Suppose we have a Rocket with initial mass $M_o$ and we want to sent it into space. The equation of motion is (i think... please tell me if there is something i forgot) $$\frac ...
18
votes
6answers
5k views

Halley's Comet as a “Free Taxi”

Now that the ESA has landed a probe on a comet, namely Rosetta's Philae Probe, could we possibly land a probe on Halley's comet? Fuel seems to be a limiting factor for interstellar expeditions - could ...
-1
votes
2answers
178 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

What are the biggest reasons that Cars get higher Land Speed Records than motorcycles'? [closed]

What are the biggest reasons that Cars get higher Land Speed Records than motorcycles'? It is because cars have a more streamlined frame than than motorcycles? But, from pictures, it seems that ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Rocket thrust over time [closed]

I have calculated the thrust of a rocket, and it's burn time for an orbital manoeuvre. I need to know how much force is applied on the rocket every half-second. How would I go about doing this? ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Asteroid as a “free slingshot?”

The question Halley's Comet as a "Free Taxi" had an interesting thought, even though it didn't work out. I was wondering about a variation on the idea. Use a cable, as illustrated below. Could this be ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Rocket velocity during fuel burn [closed]

I know the formula for the velocity of a rocket after the on board fuel has been used up: $$ \Delta v = v_{ex} \ln\left( \frac{m_i}{m_e} \right) - gt $$ where: $v_{ex}$ is the exhaust velocity ...
1
vote
2answers
600 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
198 views

Does the outflowing water create a thrust on the bucket?

Let's consider the the bucket with water, which has a small hole at the bottom. Let the bucket lift up with a constant force $\vec F$. Water in the bucket, of course, flows out of it. Questions are ...
1
vote
1answer
174 views

How many days it takes to travel to Cygnus? [duplicate]

BACKSTORY I read today newspaper and made discovery of planet Cygnus (in news paper of course :v) that human can live there! The distance is 1400 Lightyear. Assuming I travel with the world fastest ...
6
votes
2answers
266 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

Can we escape Earth's gravity slowly?

I had a recent conversation with my girlfriend, who is a physics grad student. She was kind enough to listen to me rant about an idea concerning escape velocity. Unfortunately, I am still thinking ...
2
votes
0answers
75 views

How does NASA determine the position of their probes?

I'm currently following New Horizons visit to Pluto. I'm just wondering how does the Probe/NASA determine the Position of the Probe? I would assume using earth's GPS wouldn't have the necessary ...
1
vote
3answers
179 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Rocket equation derivation, question about signs

My question is about signs in the derivation of the rocket equation. Considering a rocket of mass $m$, its momentum at time $t$ is $p(t)=mv$. At time $t+dt$ it ejects a quantity $dm$ so its momentum ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

What's the fastest you can slingshot from one black hole to another? [closed]

Let's say you have your spaceship orbiting around a black hole. Its orbital velocity is arbitrarily close to the speed of light (or you can just set it to c*0.99 if it makes it easier.) There is ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

What factors are influencing a woosh rocket?

Not sure if this is too much chemistry, but I'll try: If I fill a plastic bottle with a small amount of rubbing alcohol, shake it around and hold a match to the bottle neck, I'll get a flame wooshing ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

Rotational dynamics equation for a variable mass system?

I'm searching for the formulation of Euler's rigid body dynamics in the case of a variable mass system. I'm reading the book Mechanics of Flight by Warren F. Phillips (2nd edition) and unfortunately ...
1
vote
2answers
473 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
599 views

“Suicide Burn” rocket problem [closed]

THIS IS NOT HOMEWORK. I'm actually in Physics I atm, and am an avid player of Kerbal Space Program. I hope to do my CS masters thesis several years from now on something space related. But none of ...
0
votes
2answers
128 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
votes
0answers
57 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
499 views

How much fuel is required for star travel considering relativistic time dilation?

John Rennie's Q&A How long would it take me to travel to a distant star? discusses about interstellar travel taking into consideration. There was a case that discussed about constant ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
845 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
votes
0answers
45 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, ...
-1
votes
1answer
193 views

What forces carry hovering objects around the earth with its rotation?

My questions are: a) What significant forces “carry” flying objects around with the rotation of the earth, b) How do each of those forces contribute to that “carrying”, and c) How relatively ...
1
vote
1answer
110 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.
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Where would be the source of thrust for a rocket thruster in space?

I am making a game that involves spaceships and I was building an engine block. That engine block spawns a "thruster fire" under it that represents the...thruster fire. My question revolves around ...