The tag has no wiki summary.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

5
votes
2answers
443 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
310 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
65 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
4k 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 ...
62
votes
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
77 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
30 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
38 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
votes
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
98 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
104 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
76 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
49 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
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?
0
votes
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 ...
42
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
75 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
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 ...
4
votes
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
votes
1answer
86 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
256 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
votes
3answers
203 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
84 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
votes
1answer
131 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
259 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
924 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
votes
0answers
83 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
745 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
101 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
858 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
134 views

Can a wormhole be created in space?

Is wormhole a practical concept? If not what did the scientists do, to theorize it? Does it have any limitations pertaining to speed of light?
2
votes
0answers
89 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
96 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
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
286 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
votes
3answers
150 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
508 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?
0
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
-4
votes
2answers
90 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
297 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 ...
1
vote
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? ...
1
vote
0answers
35 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? ...
6
votes
5answers
6k views

Why can't a spaceship accelerate for ever? Since there is no friction in space

I have seen many answers like: because we don't have infinite energy, because of gravity, because it is impossible, because of physics. But they don't really answer my question.. I mean if there is ...
1
vote
1answer
120 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
155 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
252 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
138 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
votes
2answers
854 views

If acceleration causes relative time dilation does the eventual deceleration reverse it?

If acceleration causes relative time dilation does the eventual deceleration reverse it? For example: traveling to Alpha Centauri Based on me reading this site: ...
3
votes
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 ...