Questions tagged [rockets]

For questions focusing on rockets and rocketry or fuel-powered ballistics.

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7 votes
8 answers
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Could a hand launched missile work?

If we're assuming that a missile has a similar sort of soft launch capability to the Javelin but with a smaller and lighter missile, could it be plausible to have a missile that is sort of hand thrown/...
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1 vote
5 answers
161 views

What are some hypothetical specs for Elon Musk's next generation Starship for 2060?

Elon Musk's Starship, formerly known as the BFR (then the ITS), is planned to be the workhorse to transport people and goods to Mars. Theoretically, the rocket could be ready for orbital testing ...
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26 votes
10 answers
4k views

1-month Free Shipping... To Mars

Amazon has extended to Mars, and their Prime customers there need, if not 1-day shipping, at least 1-month shipping. They have created a shipping mechanism involving some method, that allows them to ...
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5 votes
1 answer
100 views

Winged jetpack vs palm repulsors, which has more mobility in air?

Winged jetpack comes with 2 set of fixed thrusters and a pair of foldable wings with adjustable aileron. (You put on the jetpack like a schoolbag) Palm repulsors are heavy duty gloves each is equipped ...
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2 votes
1 answer
215 views

Elaat (of HighFleet) is a large planet (6.6x Earth), but much less dense than Earth. Are there such rocky planets? [closed]

According to this reddit post, Elaat, the fictional world of HighFleet (steam link, humble bundle), is 159758.26 mi around. Compared to Earth's ~24,000 miles. (about 6.6x) Yet in game, large thruster-...
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8 votes
6 answers
3k views

Would aliens use the same fuel as us, if not what would they use?

Would aliens on a entirely different planet to earth still use the same rocket fuel as us? If not what are the alternatives? The planet has an escape velocity of 17 km/s, an atmosphere roughly ...
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  • 549
1 vote
0 answers
36 views

What is the highest g planet that can be escaped with current rocketry technology? [duplicate]

A spacefaring race in my story evolved on a high g planet. This made them smaller, stockier and stronger than most other spacefarers. The question is just how high their planet’s gravity could be ...
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3 votes
4 answers
208 views

What are some reasons that guided munitions are impractical in my world?

Under what set of circumstances do guided munitions become impractical but not impossible (i.e. moon missions are doable, but mass-produced ICBMs or anti-ship missiles are not), while conventional ...
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21 votes
6 answers
3k views

Perpetual motion machines and rocketry

In my current worldbuilding project, humans find themselves struggling to survive on a cold, dead world with minimal sunlight and the aid of magical machines called "spinners". Spinners are ...
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6 votes
6 answers
1k views

Which is a sound scientific explanation that prevents rockets to fly in rarefied atmosphere?

The world has lost its atmosphere. It has flown away, because the magnetic field is weakened and solar flares are making everything slowly fly away in space. NASA has its own rockets and shuttles and ...
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  • 283
4 votes
3 answers
279 views

Huge Acidic Planet [closed]

I have this planet that is mostly composed of an unknown acid. Lets name this acid, Substance X. However we can survive on this planet with basic rubber suits, as this acid cannot burn through rubber ...
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5 votes
7 answers
1k views

Recoilless Rifles vs Bazookas against non Mechanical Targets

I need a weapon that is shoulder fired that can deal with heavy monsters such as a minotaur and the likes, but light enough so that the user can carry at least another small arm without to much hassle....
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  • 927
1 vote
3 answers
268 views

Shoulder Mounted Weapon Design in a dieselpunk/ww1 time period

In my setting a large city state has been cut off from the rest of civilization through the appearance of a large alien forest that sprouted up during the medieval times and cut off the city state ...
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  • 927
3 votes
3 answers
167 views

Calculating near future spaceship rocket delta V in a vacuum

A generation spaceship leaves Earth around the year 2060 on a journey to colonize Alpha Centauri A (ACA). In this fiction, fusion power is achieved in 2040, improved over 20 years, and used within the ...
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  • 405
3 votes
2 answers
138 views

Could a self-consuming rocket be useful or cheaper than regular ones?

Technically speaking, all rockets are self-consuming, since they are basically tin cans with fuel. And to carry even less weight with then, they have stages. Allowing not only the rocket to go farther,...
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14 votes
1 answer
661 views

Does the sun provide enough energy to accelerate a large ship to a decent proportion of the speed of light?

This came up when running some numbers on the hard science possibilities of interstellar colonization and I mostly want to know whether I made some major errors and am off by a few orders of magnitude ...
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9 votes
4 answers
1k views

Why would NSWR's be used when Orion drives are around?

In the setting I'm making, Orion drives are one of the primary forms of propulsion used in spacecraft. I have been thinking of adding Nuclear Salt Water Rockets (the lithium variety) alongside Orion ...
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  • 3,307
0 votes
0 answers
42 views

How would ballistics, rocketry and orbital mechanics work on a ring world? [duplicate]

I'm new here so sorry if my formatting sucks but I was wondering how rocketry and orbital mechanics would work on a ring world? I was thinking my ring world would be 1 AU in radius, 80,150km in length....
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3 votes
3 answers
191 views

Alternative Pre-Modern Rocket Fuel to Gunpowder: Can you make a naphtha rocket?

In a pre-17th century world without gunpowder, can rockets still be developed? Could you perhaps make a naphtha rocket? RP1 is made from highly refined kerosene, which has been about since at least ...
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  • 4,098
1 vote
2 answers
118 views

Is there a semi-dense deuterium state?

Deuterium as Fusion Fuel For a future fusion thruster I was going to use a deuterium fusion drive similar to the Epstein drive from the Expanse. I've looked into the fuel sources online as well as ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
106 views

Backyard Planetary Escape: From the Earth to the Moon, the Jeb Kerman way [closed]

A pair of aerospace engineers discovers that the New World Order wants to depopulate Earth by means of starting a nuclear war on the 1st of January of [Enter number between 2025 and 2040]. The elite ...
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5 votes
0 answers
183 views

Metallic Hydrogen vs. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion [closed]

I'm trying to design a spacecraft (only 100-150 years in the future) that will carry a crew of astronauts (probably ≤10) on an extended mission through interstellar space (they have some sort of hand-...
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  • 321
5 votes
5 answers
517 views

How hard would it be for a post apocalyptic society to create rocket launchers?

I've been working on this post apocalyptic setting, and I was wondering how hard it is to make rockets for murdering purposes. I know the technology to make rockets is pretty old, so, could a society ...
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5 votes
4 answers
309 views

Would it be possible with current rocketry to go from Earth to Mercury and then come back?

Leaving aside the matter of how well would humans fare on the surface of Mercury (we only have to factor in the weight of their life support: air, water, food and spacesuits), and assuming materials ...
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  • 187
3 votes
7 answers
1k views

Good explanation for why aliens can't build nuclear engines?

"Aliens used uranium and plutonium to generate energy for thousands of years. However, by the time they got into space exploration, they've used up every last bit of it. That's why they'll have to try ...
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19 votes
7 answers
11k views

Is it necessary for spaceships to include reverse thrusters for deceleration in space?

Set in the not so distant future, space travel becomes commonplace but is limited within the heliosphere. I'm thinking since it is fuel efficient and more economical to use gravity assist to slow down ...
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  • 46k
4 votes
1 answer
172 views

Spin gravity on an abandoned ship

If a cylindrical rocket ship with a diameter of about 350 meters were spinning on its long axis, would more than just the interior surface of the outer hull have artificial gravity? The ships decks ...
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1 vote
3 answers
218 views

How to mine a moon made of half uranium and half radium?

Imagine one day the moon suddenly transformed into a colossal elephant's foot and we need to get to the moon to obtain sample... Could it be done using modern day technology to mine the uranium for ...
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  • 46k
6 votes
6 answers
5k views

'Nuke the sky' to make a rocket launch a tiny bit easier

My aliens want to build the heaviest chemical rocket possible: They never were much into space travel, since their planets' gravity is about 1.5 of ours. They made lots of bad experiences fighting ...
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3 votes
3 answers
482 views

What's the limit of my rockets weight?

I want to launch the heaviest booster + spaceship possible in about 1.5 of earths gravity, using the technology we currently have. To make things easier, imagine there was the same atmosphere as on ...
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1 vote
1 answer
153 views

What would it take to make a fuctioning photon rocket?

For reference closet counterpart to this would be the "wings of light" and Minovsky Drive System of the Gundam metaseries, engines that release what looks like pure light as a propellant.
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6 votes
2 answers
483 views

What would happen if we tried to send the Chernobyl waste into space and the rocket exploded?

In the somewhat near future (50-200 years) the government wants to repopulate the city of Pripyat. To limit radiation, they decide to send the remains of reactor 4 into space (which is possible due to ...
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10 votes
6 answers
1k views

Could there be something like aerobatic smoke trails in the vacuum of space?

Whether exhaust from a solid rocket engine, or something released by spaceships in flight (like aerobatic smoke in the atmosphere), could extended trails behind a ship be created that would not ...
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  • 1,279
0 votes
1 answer
130 views

Is using light as a reactive mass in a rocket engine possible? [closed]

How practical would be a rocket that would use laser light as a reactive mass, given there is a very efficient electric energy source or storage?
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3 votes
5 answers
1k views

Could an aircraft fly or hover using only jets of compressed air?

In a world with practically unlimited energy and advanced technology they have no need to burn fuels for energy or even use fire. To travel around their huge planet cities they use aircraft and hover ...
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20 votes
3 answers
1k views

Scaling Up Internal Mass Drivers?

Internal mass drivers are a potentially useful space drive, due to the ready availability of reaction mass (you can use anything from spare parts to literal dirt as a propellant, assuming you have a ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
123 views

Break into Kennedy Space Center and enter the rocket [closed]

In my story, some kind of vigilenties are chasing a hitman in Florida after she tried to kill them. They are in Titusville just before the first manned flight for Mars takes off from Kennedy Space ...
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  • 139
6 votes
5 answers
323 views

Space ships with launch engines AND space engines

I'm no rocket scientist, but I've been reading up on some basic concepts of rocket science (including some great talks here). As far as I've gleaned, there's two extremes of rocket thrusts: high speed/...
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  • 61
8 votes
7 answers
3k views

Naval warfare: Big guns vs Artillery rockets

In a fantastic world known as inner space, created by Deviant artist Wingsofwrath, technology is similar to our world during the 1920s with a few twists here and there. One of these twists Is the lack ...
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9 votes
5 answers
2k views

How would a real modern day space shuttle operate without satellites or any kind of communications signals?

What role do satellites, communication towers, GPS, etc, play in the operation, and specifically the landing, of a space shuttle? If those and any other human-made things suddenly disappeared, could ...
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  • 447
17 votes
5 answers
3k views

Could deliberately induced Kessler Syndrome stop ICBMs?

In a previous question I asked how Mutually Assured Destruction could be made not assured. Most of the highly rated answers focused on political methods, but one answer raised the possibility that ...
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  • 3,509
7 votes
2 answers
497 views

Is a medieval spoon satellite realistic?

I misread an answer to My carrier pigeons have been replaced by spoons: how can I send messages?, thinking it was referring to a network of parabolic reflector dishes made of spoons orbiting the ...
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  • 742
12 votes
5 answers
1k views

Man-portable anti-satellite weapon

Man-portable air-defense systems have been around for decades, and so have been anti-satellite weapons. But while the former is a small, short range rocket, the latter is as big as a cruise missile. ...
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  • 4,610
7 votes
6 answers
440 views

Would lower gravity lead to earlier spaceflight?

This is in regards to the Tyranny of Rocket Fuel. Summed up: Heavier ships need more fuel which makes them heavier, etc. You end up with diminishing returns. This is compounded by higher gravity - ...
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  • 11.5k
0 votes
1 answer
117 views

Using the atmosphere to increase the efficiency of rocket launches [closed]

Rockets are heavy because they need to transport the fuel as well as the oxidizer agent. For example, the hydrogen is the fuel and the oxygen is the oxidizer. The problem is it makes the rocket heavy. ...
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  • 213
3 votes
4 answers
155 views

Is a balloon rocket launch pad possible?

Rockets consume a lot of fuel and carry not eough payload. To reduce the fuel needed, why not send it in the mesosphere? Imagine a big balloon, capable of carrying a small rocket to the mesosphere (...
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  • 213
7 votes
9 answers
2k views

Possibility way of exiting earth in a bullet shaped rocket

So, to start my story, I need to make sure that my so called "Defenders of Earth" can leave Earth unnoticed (not yet sure), that's why I'm thinking of Cannons, 1000ft long, hidden beneath the earth. ...
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  • 2,618
2 votes
2 answers
358 views

Would it be safe to assume that solid core nuclear rocket technology advances?

Solid Core Nuclear Thermal rocketry has existed for a while and I was thinking about using it as the primary propulsion in my setting. Now most Solid Core rockets still have fairly long transit times (...
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0 votes
1 answer
101 views

Would people age differently at half the speed of light? [closed]

In my story, `the human race has decided to leave Earth and explore other planets. To do this, they invent the X-Zeus rocket, which travels at half the speed of light. What potential problems and/or ...
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6 votes
3 answers
462 views

What would a rocket launched from space look like?

Suppose NASA, SpaceX or any other aerospace company has managed to build a technology that allows them to fire a rocket to the moon, from "space". Basically, they have created a huge weather balloon ...
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