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Questions tagged [rockets]

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

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6 votes
4 answers
210 views

What is the best kind of nuclear reactor to use for a criticality accident if I want to expose my crew to a huge amount of radiation?

I've recently been making an attempt to write a short story that leans very heavily towards hard sci-fi. My area of expertise is primarily in biology and neurology, and the backbone of the story is ...
the-protean's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
135 views

Is it possible to use the tech behind Project Daedalus as an asteroid defense system?

Assuming that all requirements are met, is it possible to use the gigantic Project Daedalus fusion propulsion to move large "Planet-Killing" asteroids at a meaningful pace, be it asteroid ...
Vexorr's user avatar
  • 81
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Engine most likely to be available in the next 80 years to accelerate a craft at 1g for 4 weeks

I posted this in Space SE, but someone suggested I also post it here. So here it is! I am wondering what type of engine would most likely be available in the next 80 that can constantly accelerate a ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 203
4 votes
2 answers
225 views

What's the maximum thrust to weight ratio of a photon rocket?

Outside of science fiction, photon rockets are positioned as low-thrust, low-acceleration, space-use-only engines. But... do they have to be? For purposes of this question, a "photon rocket" ...
Logan R. Kearsley's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can ultra-low-frequency photon rockets be "safe"?

Your typical photon rocket is imagined as being an antimatter-powered, gamma-ray laser. A flashlight of extremely lethal ionizing radiation, capable of sterilizing a planet if pointed the wrong way. ...
BMF's user avatar
  • 6,798
8 votes
10 answers
3k views

Could a supernova powered starship work/survive?

As in, it forces the star to undergo rapid nova/supernova by contracting the star. It then redirects the force of the nova/supernova out the back end, via ricocheting the force around the ship till it ...
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
223 views

How far away can (non-dusty) rocket exhaust be detected?

There are several questions around regarding stealth in space, where the general conclusion is that stealth is not really feasible because (among other things) heat radiation from a spaceship doing ...
JanKanis's user avatar
  • 1,404
2 votes
2 answers
217 views

Can we use magnetic fields to make metalic hydrogen for rocket fuel?

Metallic hydrogen is probably the best possible chemical rocket fuel. It would make single-stage-take-off possible. The trouble is the stuff is extremely hard to contain, and requires exotic fuel ...
Adam Reynolds's user avatar
52 votes
26 answers
11k views

A planet you can take off from, but never land back

Can there be a planet that space missions can take off from, but never land back? It is easy to imagine that thicker atmosphere, large amounts of space debris or higher gravity could entirely stop ...
jpa's user avatar
  • 3,284
-1 votes
5 answers
266 views

How can we make dumbfire rockets more accurate?

I am using rockets as a main weapons platform for my vehicles. Currently they are fired from a railgun like apparatus. A rocket is at the center of three rails arranged in the fashion of a triangle. A ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,143
5 votes
7 answers
982 views

How can unguided rockets be more effective than the main gun on a tank?

I have a setting where the environment is constantly changing on the ground level. As a result, hover tanks are used more often than tracked or wheeled tank destroyers/IFV/APCs. The ground can ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,143
2 votes
1 answer
189 views

How much more specific impulse could the Saturn V rocket get with better heat resistant material?

Humanity has found a way to travel to another dimension (kinda like Asgard in the MCU). There they have found boulders of a wonderful substance. It is light, strong, has a high melting point, it ...
Postlim Fort's user avatar
  • 1,607
7 votes
8 answers
4k views

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/...
Adam Reynolds's user avatar
1 vote
5 answers
184 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 ...
FontFamily's user avatar
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 ...
Firedestroyer's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
131 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 ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
2 votes
1 answer
607 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-...
Josh Vander Hook's user avatar
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 ...
Katze's user avatar
  • 569
1 vote
0 answers
51 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 ...
Joe Bloggs's user avatar
  • 66.4k
3 votes
4 answers
236 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 ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
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 ...
BMF's user avatar
  • 6,798
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 ...
Eleanore's user avatar
  • 283
5 votes
3 answers
312 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 ...
Joseph Casey's user avatar
6 votes
7 answers
2k 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....
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,143
1 vote
3 answers
367 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 ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,143
3 votes
3 answers
226 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 ...
Koon W's user avatar
  • 405
3 votes
2 answers
181 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,...
Fulano's user avatar
  • 293
16 votes
1 answer
831 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 ...
quarague's user avatar
  • 1,651
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 ...
Seraphim's user avatar
  • 4,981
0 votes
0 answers
47 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....
Yaotlyaotz's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
285 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 ...
Johnny's user avatar
  • 4,188
1 vote
2 answers
128 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 ...
Markitect's user avatar
  • 1,031
-3 votes
2 answers
111 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 ...
MedwedianPresident's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
271 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-...
Geroditus's user avatar
  • 321
5 votes
5 answers
643 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 ...
Winter Weasel's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
324 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 ...
Davi's user avatar
  • 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 ...
justthisonequestion's user avatar
19 votes
7 answers
12k 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 ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
4 votes
1 answer
225 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 ...
carsonogen089's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
251 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 ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
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 ...
justthisonequestion's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
545 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 ...
justthisonequestion's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
185 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.
Jacob Blaustein's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
512 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 ...
ThePainfull's user avatar
10 votes
6 answers
2k 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 ...
Bob516's user avatar
  • 1,279
0 votes
1 answer
133 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?
Anixx's user avatar
  • 5,360
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 ...
GiruŠatuku's user avatar
19 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 ...
Gryphon's user avatar
  • 11k
-1 votes
1 answer
126 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 ...
Jules R's user avatar
  • 129
6 votes
5 answers
378 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/...
Fletch's user avatar
  • 61