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0answers
11 views

Anti-matter acceleration [closed]

To what speed could a kilogram of matter/anti-matter fuel, assuming 100% efficiency, accelerate a kilogram. Ignore relativistic effects (i.e the answer could be greater than ...
62
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5answers
6k views

Where does the extra kinetic energy come from in a gravitational slingshot?

I read in this answer in this site that the KE a free-falling ball acquires is not originated by the attracting body but that energy was actually stored in the ball when it had been lifted to the ...
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1answer
79 views

If it takes less than a year to accelerate to the speed of light at 1g why will it take the Voyager 10,000 years to reach Alpha Centauri?

Today I was doing my physics homework and there was a problem involving a space ship falling at 9.8 m/(s^2) to simulate gravity, and it asked how long would it take for the ship to reach to speed of ...
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0answers
31 views

Is it possible to build a huge spaceship like the one of of Star Trek or Prometheus?

Ok, so theoretically, is it possible to build a spaceship like the ones we see off of Star Trek or Prometheus or will physics not allow it? What are some challenge faces such an task. Also, is there ...
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3answers
67 views

spacecraft thrust through means other than liquid propellants

Is there any way of achieving effective thrust in space without using conventional fluid or gas propellants such as rocket-fuels or supercooled material? For instance: gaining thrust through solar ...
0
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1answer
41 views

Can we use water as fuel for nuclear thermal space propulsion?

As I know, the working fuel of choice is Hydrogen because of its low molecular mass. When it comes to escape velocity, the estimate vary too much, from $8$km/s to $50$km/s (gas core reactor). ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Is interstellar flight possible in near future in a way that would keep our civilization alive?

Is interstellar flight possible in the near future in a way that would keep our civilization alive? I mean is it practically possible to obtain technology that would enable us to travel to nearby ...
2
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4answers
105 views

How much could one slow down aging using existing spacecraft?

Imagine that I board a spacecraft and head away from the Earth at top speed until I've aged twenty years, then I turn around and come back. How much younger will I be than the unexciting folk who hung ...
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1answer
79 views

Does speed in space really matter?

This is about validating the science from a science fiction novel. My understanding is that speed is all relative. So while I am in a car on the freeway my speed relative to another passenger is ...
1
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1answer
51 views

How can I calculate the relationship between power and acceleration for a beam driven photon sail?

I am writing a novel, and although I have a background in physics, I am unsure of the exact equations to use. Specifically: For a photon-sail ship, how powerful would a driving laser need to be in ...
3
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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?
0
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1answer
40 views

Spacecraft momentum question [closed]

Assume you're sitting in your spacecraft. The mass of you and the spacecraft is 2000 kg. You're traveling at 200km/h through the vacuum of space. You have a thruster pointing in the direction you're ...
1
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1answer
101 views

What would be the resulting effect of two ships passing near each other while using a Alcubierre drive

So, I don't have any formal background in physics or space. but I read about the Alcubierre drive, and now I'm curious. If two ships passed one another, what sort of interference would be generated? ...
0
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1answer
83 views

Magnetic hot air balloon [duplicate]

Normally, hot air balloons are limited to 60,000 ft (related question), the limits being the mass of the physical structure containing the air, and the heat source. If one constructed a magnetic ...
41
votes
4answers
7k views

If I'm floating in space and I turn on a flashlight, will I accelerate?

Photons have no mass but they can push things, as evidenced by laser propulsion. Can photons push the source which is emitting them? If yes, will a more intense flashlight accelerate me more? Does ...
4
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1answer
62 views

Relativistic Time dilation and travel to exoplanets

NASA recently discovered the first habitable exoplanet with the Kepler space telescope. Recently I was on this site: http://www.cthreepo.com/lab/math1/ With the Long Relativistic Journeys ...
0
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1answer
95 views

What happens to the acceleration of a body undergoing constant force?

Here's the problem I have, specifically relating to a rocket in deep space: A rocket burns fuel at a constant rate. Assuming its mass remains constant, what happens to its acceleration? I seem to get ...
26
votes
1answer
3k views

How long would it take me to travel to a distant star?

Suppose I wanted to travel to one of the recently discovered potentially Earth-like planets such as Kepler 186f that is 490 light years away. Assuming I had a powerful rocket and enough fuel, how long ...
1
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1answer
88 views

Why must spacecraft reach escape velocity to escape Earth (or any other big object)?

I think I have learned in physics that escape velocity is defined as the speed at which objects going ballistic in the opposite direction of the main gravitational force are able to finally overcome ...
3
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1answer
133 views

Mars Circular Intercept Orbit

I've been trying to simulate a spacecraft entering a circular capture orbit about Mars using Mathematica, but am having a little trouble. The simulation starts when the spacecraft enters Mars' sphere ...
6
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3answers
285 views

Would approaching a distant star at near the speed of light unfold its entire history in “fast-forward”?

The light we detect today in our telescopes from distant stars is really old. If we could travel fast (lets say, 90% the speed of light) towards a star a million lightyears away, all the time looking ...
5
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0answers
84 views

What is the cheapest way to land a grain of sand on the moon?

I have a payload that is the size and density of a grain of sand. I want to land it intact on the moon, but I am not particular about location beyond that. What is the least expensive way to get it ...
2
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1answer
107 views

How much power would a space craft's magnetic shield require? [closed]

I've read over the decades that a magnetic shield might protect a spacecraft from cosmic radiation. Its a fascinating idea that might only be theory or science fiction at the moment. In regards to ...
0
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2answers
144 views

Can a wormhole be created in space?

Is the concept of a wormhole a practical one? If not, then what did the scientists do to theorize it? Does it have any limitations pertaining to the speed of light?
2
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0answers
92 views

What is the interstellar density of mm sized “dust” particles?

If you assume an interstellar spacecraft of 100 m in diameter traveling to the nearest star - that ship would plow through 3 x 10^20 m^3 of interstellar space. At 0.5 c the energy release of such a ...
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3answers
154 views

Inertia and Rocket Propulsion

We were taught in school that the law of inertia indicates that an object tend to stay the way it is, so if you throw something in space it will tend to go on forever and ever. The reason an object ...
0
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1answer
83 views

What if we were to travel against the speed of our galaxy?

The Earth (and its inhabitants) is rotating and moving along with the Milkyway at approximately 600 000 m/h (not the of the Earth's rotation). Now let's say I'm in my spaceship in earth orbit watching ...
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2answers
92 views

How many years would it take the Pioneer space probe to travel to Proxima Centauri with its current speed? [closed]

Pioneer space probe moving at a speed of $30km/s$. Assuming its heading for Proxima Centauri, which is situated at $4.2ly$ from earth, calculate how long it would take to get there in years, to the ...
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0answers
36 views

The magnitude of spacecraft anomalous velocities?

That Voyager and several other spacecraft have had anomalous changes in speed is known. According to the news reports, the differences are unsettling. But just how large are these anomalies really? ...
1
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1answer
249 views

Quantum Thrusters and Warp Drives

Any reservations about the potential of this (given in the link below/title above)? Does it seem like a helpless attempt or something which might have the potential of developing into something real? ...
2
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1answer
70 views

What are the steps and energetic requirements for getting from the HST to the ISS?

There have been several general critiques of the realism some of the physics depicted in the movie "Gravity" notably regarding the the orbital mechanics of the transition from the Hubble Space ...
1
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1answer
129 views

What is most infeasible about a sky hook (as in space travel not Batman)?

We need to get things into space but it costs too much. Lots of people talk about space elevators but no one talks about the skyhook idea. I'm referring to this: Skyhook (Wikipedia), not the thing in ...
5
votes
1answer
261 views

Travel duration from Earth to a star at 9.8 m/s² acceleration

How much time would it take for a traveler (in traveler's perspective) to reach a star at distance $d$, if it accelerates at 9.8 m/s² (for a comfortable travel)? I understand that $V = V_0 + a\times ...
3
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2answers
158 views

Orbit reversal in a gravitational well

A friend recently asked me this, and without wishing to spend a huge time thinking about it, I wondered if anyone knew the answer (or at least had an informed guess), or was familiar enough with these ...
4
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3answers
207 views

Magnetic Levitation For Space Travel

At 1 G, we feel at home. At 5 G's, normal people can stay awake. At 9 G's, trained pilots with G-suits can stay awake. At 25 G's, R.I.P. Unfortunately, these numbers are limiting for space travel, ...
16
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4answers
869 views

How would we see a near-lightspeed object emitting light?

Consider an object travelling near the speed of light relative to us (let it be a spaceship or a star), which is emitting light (consider it monochromatic resulting from a two level electronic ...
3
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0answers
142 views

Can flux pinning be used for propulsion in Earth's magnetic field?

I was wondering if the following steps would result in a net displacement on a spacecraft operating in Earth's magnetic field: Turn on a superconductor Use a linear actuator to shift some mass Turn ...
0
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1answer
52 views

What routine tasks have to be performed on the outside of spaceships/stations? [closed]

What kind of routine tasks have to be performed on the outside of spaceships or space stations? Repairs, I presume. Anything else? Is there anything that needs to be cleaned off from the outside, ...
1
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0answers
78 views

Plasma Propulsion system - Maximum Velocity [closed]

What is the maximum velocity that can be achieved using plasma propulsion if we could make a propulsion system as powerful as lightning ?
8
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1answer
316 views

What exactly is the composition of radiation in interplanetary space?

The articles I found on radiation in the solar system mostly dealt with solar wind, I wonder about other types. Is there a breakdown that tells me, withhin an order of magnitude, at least what ...
7
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1answer
324 views

Antimatter Propulsion System

Is there a possibility ( in theory ) to build a antimatter propulsion system, if so how can we control the collision of matter-anitmatter, will humans be able to control this force just like ...
6
votes
2answers
253 views

Physics and math behind flight through solar system: Where to start?

I wrote a first program that simulates a solar system. I was able to calculate the locations for every planet on its elliptical route for any given time. In a second program i managed to simulate ...
8
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1answer
291 views

Graphene as optical and UV mirrors

One usually hears about graphene as a good thermal conductor, and good light absorber due to its tunable bandgap properties. But i haven't heard about its aplicability as an optical mirror. In fact, ...
0
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0answers
769 views

Could Space Travel be achieved using a very strong magnetic field to warp space?

An Alcubierre Warp Drive could theoretically achieve faster than light space travel but requires exotic matter or negative energy to compress space in front of the spaceship and expand space behind ...
5
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2answers
933 views

What is the fastest a spacecraft can get using gravity-assist?

Assuming normal spacecraft and space objects (no neutron stars, black holes, etc). To what speed can a spacecraft accelerate using gravity-assist? For example, if a spacecraft is moving at ...
-2
votes
1answer
147 views

Based on what does Hawking give 1000 years of time for humans to escape the planet earth? [closed]

I read it news that: Hawking Gives Humans 1,000 Years to Escape Earth How did he arrive at this figure? Whats gonna make human race extinct in 1,000 years?
4
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0answers
129 views

What can be the lightest possible moon launch vehicle? [closed]

I tried calculating this, but it gets too complicated. Assume, we have a Moon orbit station and ISS on Earth orbit. We have a Moon base. We want to send a tourist for a week on the Moon and back. We ...
3
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5answers
4k views

If a space ship accelerated constantly, would its astronauts constantly feel the forward movement?

I know that if a space ship suddenly traveled very fast, its astronauts would be fly against the back wall, potentially getting hurt. If the space ship suddenly stopped, they would also fly against ...
0
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5answers
2k views

How a spacecraft travelling near light speed avoid asteroids?

How would a spacecraft traveling near light speed avoid a (relatively dense group of) asteroids? Or suppose such spacecraft is designed, how would the physics work for steering it inside such a ...
2
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3answers
961 views

Spaceships travelling through space and debris

How can a spaceship travel through space if there is space debris flying around at very high speeds? Wouldn't even a small rock crack through the spaceship?