Does a space shuttle travelling in space experience any resistance to its motion?
If a body in space is applied constant force, does it attain speed of light after sufficient time?
- Yes a spacecraft traveling through space experiences some opposing force or drag through particles and radiation. Most of what we consider vacuum is filled with gas, photons and a sea of subatomic particles that will interact with the craft and change its momentum. Even in a complete vacuum it is possible that quantum mechanical field fluctuations, especially of the electromagnetic field, affect the craft's motion.
- A constant force will never result in an object with mass attaining light speed. Through relativistic effects, the mass of the object will experience a gamma correction leading to ever decreasing accelerations. In fact the speed attainable is asymptotic to the speed of light.