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.

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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 ...
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1answer
237 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 ...
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1answer
109 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 ...
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1answer
50 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 ...
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2answers
198 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 ...
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3answers
881 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
454 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?
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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 ...
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4answers
457 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
344 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 ...
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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; ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
172 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 ...
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1answer
92 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 ...
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1answer
68 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? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
554 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 ...
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2answers
196 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 ...
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1answer
169 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 ...
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2answers
265 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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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0answers
73 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 ...
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3answers
174 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: ...
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89 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
77 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 ...
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2answers
439 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 ...
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2answers
532 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 ...
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2answers
122 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
497 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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1answer
109 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.
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1answer
67 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 ...
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What is third cosmic velocity?

I have been studying Gravitation chapter and there I found one term : Third cosmic velocity which is also known as interstellar speed. So what is it ? What it really tells about? I tried to gather ...
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1answer
481 views

Was Einsteins work with relativity necessary for successful space travel?

So I know that Einstein and general relativity had huge impacts on the way we view the world, but how crucial were these scientific advancements to the success of our space programs? Would Newtonian ...
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0answers
64 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 ...
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5answers
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Is there any disadvantage to sending rockets straight up?

When we send satellite into space using a rocket, logically we consider the shortest path which is a straight line perpendicular to Earth's surface. My question is do rocket takes the shortest path to ...
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0answers
110 views

Has the Pioneer Anomaly been experienced by Voyager?

I came across the Pioneer Anomaly recently, and a quick search here showed there now a theory that fits everything observed. My question is, should we expect a similar effect from the design of the ...
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1answer
474 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 ...
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2answers
641 views

Rocket Altitude Calculation

Assignment Basic data I was launching a rocket model and I tried to calculate the reached altitude. The engine (C6-0) impulse is 10 Ns Total weight is 65,7 g (includes the engine) I calculated ...
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Could we send a man safely to the Moon in a rocket without knowledge of general relativity?

I'm wondering if it's possible to send a man to the Moon using equations consistent with Newtonian gravity and without the elaborate tools of Einstein gravity. Are the predictions made by Newtonian ...