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0
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0answers
20 views

Electromagnetic space launch system using evacuated metal tube? [closed]

It may be highly efficient and inexpensive to launch spacecraft electromagnetically. Is there a simple method which could be used to launch a payload electromagnetically up a lightweight evacuated ...
8
votes
2answers
363 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 ...
2
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0answers
49 views

What does it look when we travel at the speed of light? [closed]

Suppose we're in a spaceship or in a car which runs at the speed of light. We are watching the light which is coming towards eyes at the speed of the light. What would it look like when the driver ...
0
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1answer
24 views

If we are traveling to Mars in Hibernation State [closed]

If we are traveling to Mars in Hibernation State with artificial gravity. Which hibernation position of our body is the best i.e. lie flat or stand up, considering making bone loss as less as ...
1
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2answers
82 views

How is strong time dilation consistent with weak tidal forces?

Nolan's latest film, Interstellar, takes pains to explain to lay audience members that the passage of time slows in the presence of strong gravitational fields (as per Einstein's theory of General ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Why does the Cassini probe experience jerky acceleration in deep space?

I was looking at this plot of speed over time for the Cassini probe. What's going on at the right, after mid-2004? Why does it keep slowing down and speeding up again?
2
votes
1answer
618 views

Questions after watching the movie Interstellar [closed]

Awesome movie, but as a physics student, some questions do crop up When they travel to the watery planet, they say that 1 hour on this planet is 7 yrs om earth. How is this possible? Is the planet ...
5
votes
1answer
350 views

Movie Interstellar - Question about Escape Velocity

The movie Interstellar shows people on a water planet where time is dilated so much that 1 hour is equal to 7 years back on Earth. Even though they lift off from Earth using a Saturn-V two stage ...
0
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0answers
33 views

Why are centrifuge space-station designs not a reality? [duplicate]

Considering how useful it could be for the crew of a space station to have at their disposal a 1g environment (or more) at the rim to a 0g environment at the axis of rotation, why aren't modern space ...
3
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1answer
38 views

Burning fuel in space while accelerating and deaccelerating

Is it true that for acceleration in space we need not the same quantity of the fuel than during the deacceleration stage?
1
vote
1answer
270 views

Quantum Thrusters and Warp Drives [duplicate]

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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4answers
117 views

Conservation of potential energy for a wormhole

So you managed to build a stable traversable wormhole. Somehow you managed to acquire the exotic negative-tension materials with sufficient densities to make it all work. Now you place opening A of ...
7
votes
6answers
4k views

How close can spaceship get to the Sun

If you want to fly a spaceship with human passengers as close to the Sun as possible, then what effects would the spaceship have to be designed to counteract in order to keep the passengers alive and ...
0
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2answers
154 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?
5
votes
2answers
545 views

What properties would the ideal material for spacecraft construction possess?

Assuming we develop the capability to send a robot to study Gliese 518, or any of the Earth-like planets discovered in the neighbourhood; the spacecraft would need to travel through the Solar System ...
1
vote
3answers
91 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 ...
24
votes
8answers
5k views

Why don't modern spacecraft use nuclear power?

The Voyager 1 & 2 spacecraft launched in 1977 with Plutonium as their source of electricity. 34 years later they claim these two spacecraft have enough power to last them until at least 2020. That ...
63
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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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
93 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
39 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
47 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). ...
11
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2answers
2k views

How fast would a spaceship have to go to reach Alpha Centauri within a person's lifetime?

Given the recent news about the discovery of an "Earthlike" planet orbiting Alpha Centauri (our nearest stellar neighbour) it got me wondering just how fast would spaceship have to travel to be able ...
5
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
104 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? ...
2
votes
4answers
121 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
86 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
vote
1answer
53 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 ...
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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
votes
1answer
43 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 ...
41
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
26
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
67 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
votes
1answer
124 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
276 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 ...
4
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3answers
216 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, ...
1
vote
1answer
103 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
142 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
votes
3answers
383 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
1k 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?
5
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0answers
90 views

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

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
840 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
899 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
97 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

Term for “atmospheric ricochet” due to wrong “angle-of-attack”

I watched "Apollo 13" yesterday, and they had the "angle-of-attack" problem that had to be manually solved, to prevent the ship from "ricochet[ing] off the atmosphere like a rock skipping off a pond". ...
2
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
301 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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3answers
176 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
610 views

How does Lunar Orbit Injection (LOI) work?

Just what the title states. I read that LOI was used by the Apollo program (and possibly others) to achieve escape velocity. How does it work? Is it merely a matter of centrifugal/centripetal force?