Questions tagged [rockets]

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

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6
votes
6answers
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
246 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
106 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.
6
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2answers
367 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
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 ...
0
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1answer
125 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?
3
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5answers
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 ...
20
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3answers
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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
5
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5answers
208 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/...
8
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7answers
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 ...
9
votes
5answers
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 ...
17
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5answers
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
426 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 ...
11
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5answers
926 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. ...
7
votes
6answers
362 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 - ...
0
votes
1answer
99 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. ...
3
votes
4answers
142 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 (...
7
votes
9answers
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. ...
2
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2answers
306 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 (...
0
votes
1answer
94 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
413 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 ...
54
votes
11answers
12k views

How would people conceivably escape a planet too large for chemical rockets?

I was reading this article from NASA about chemical rockets and they argue that, with a planet 50% larger than the Earth (assuming similar density, about 1.5G surface gravity), it would be impossible ...
8
votes
8answers
404 views

Problems When Disguising A Spaceship As An Airplane?

Our Heroes are a small group of people around the level of the heroes of The Skylark Of Space. Operating on a budget of maybe ten million dollars, they've built a spacecraft with a mass somewhere ...
2
votes
2answers
134 views

Will we need to replace conventional rockets to send manned missions further into space?

Currently, chemical rockets have taken men to Earth orbit and the moon by combusting rocket fuel to generate thrust. Even if we develop more efficient rocket fuels and can create significantly ...
3
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5answers
184 views

Swiss Army Rockets

Is it possible to build a rocket that uses several different types of fuel/fuel delivery methods at different times during flight? For example, it may use nuclear fuel to travel to a different planet ...
5
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3answers
357 views

How can I escape from a planet like Mars without any modern technological tools such as a rocket?

I wonder whether it is impossible. How can I be launched into space without using a rocket? If the planet has some super volcanoes, can a volcanic eruption be used to launch a vehicle into space? How ...
5
votes
6answers
509 views

How would high-gravity hinder an sentient species's progress for space-exploration? [closed]

It's thought that popped up a while back when I was looking for habitable exoplanets, and found out that the majority of discovered potentially habitable exoplanets are 3-4 Earth-mass super-earths. ...
15
votes
1answer
724 views

As we increase the size and mass of a world, at what point does it become impossible for a rocket to achieve an orbit or escape velocity?

Many authors describe worlds with higher gravity than our own, from whence super-muscular aliens originate. However, as we increased the size, mass and surface gravity of a world; there would be ...
2
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3answers
68 views

Chemical propulsion for first stage of a light sail deployment?

A Russian billionaire wants to send postage stamp-sized probes off to Alpha Centauri using meter-square light sails. Regardless of the practicality of such an attempt, is there a lot to be gained by ...
4
votes
2answers
328 views

How does a world with rings expand into space

In Artifexians newest video he discusses how you can have a habitable near earth world that still has rings. Fast forwarding to the end of the video, he points out that due to their pull on any ...
3
votes
4answers
294 views

With what precision & timing can we send a missile to strike the moon?

The question about a murderer on the moon made me wonder: if the collective governments felt very immediate capital punishment were necessary, they might strike the area that the perpetrator was ...
10
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2answers
824 views

What is the minimum level of technology to enable interlunar civilization?

Definition: Interlunar adjective Of or traveling between moons. I'm (as far as I can tell) inventing the term interlunar to describe travel between moons in a single planetary system. Travel ...