Questions tagged [space]

For questions related to outer space, stellar systems, stars and other astronomical phenomena.

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8
votes
5answers
134 views

Most Likely Way to Protect Against Infectious Disease When Visiting Other Planets?

In various science fiction works, we see our plucky heroes beaming down to, or flying down to planets other than their own. They meet with the inhabitants there, be they human or otherwise and then ...
0
votes
3answers
158 views

How would the Politburo respond to Project A119?

In 1958 the United States Air Force considered a mission to detonate a nuclear device on the surface of the Moon. The endeavour was framed as a booster to American public morale in the wake of the ...
10
votes
8answers
996 views

Is radar better than visible light in deep space?

On the earths surface, radar is pretty sweet. It apparently penetrates the atmosphere well and bounces back and can be detected. I think this has to do with the wavelengths absorbed by our ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

How many people could fit into a spaceship? [closed]

I’m writing a story where the world is coming to an end but I want it to sound as realistic as possible. The story takes place in 2024, not too far from now, and NASA sends out a crew in space to ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

What if a meteorite hit Roswell, NM in 1947? [closed]

I have always been interested in alternate histories that dramatically affect the course, duration, or intensity of 20th century spacefaring. One of the issues that has precluded large-scale ...
8
votes
1answer
513 views

What percentage of stars would need to become Shkadov thrusters to move the whole galaxy?

The advanced civilization in my story is trying to reach as many galaxies as possible in the next few billions years before the expansion of space has sent those galaxies permanently out of reach ...
3
votes
0answers
104 views

New variables for the Drake equation? [closed]

Has any scientist or sci-fi writer proposed adding new variables to the Drake equation? Science in every area has progressed a great deal since the days of Enrico Fermi and his contemporaries, after ...
3
votes
4answers
188 views

What laws of physics would need to be broken in order to travel in space faster?

I have a spaceship which I want to have travel very quickly around a system like our own solar system -- let's say about 10 million miles per minute, which would go from Mars to Earth in ~15 minutes. ...
10
votes
4answers
205 views

Question about Kessler syndrome

I'm writing a novel set in a post post-apocalyptic world, where society on Earth collapsed a long time ago and has rebuilt itself by the time the novel starts. I need a reason to keep the people ...
0
votes
1answer
97 views

How much TNT do I need to blow up Mars' moon Deimos? [closed]

Specifically I want to blow it up into lots of little bits, not just nudge it towards the planet so that it de-orbits on its own.
7
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6answers
1k views

Asteroid mining: Good for the environment?

What if there was a binding global resolution passed tomorrow mandating that all countries gradually close down their terrestrial resource extraction sites and instead source from asteroid mines? ...
3
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2answers
86 views

Could co-orbital planets also be double planets?

Double or binary planets are a really cool science fiction idea. A second Earth hanging ominously in the sky. Co-orbital or trojan planets are also interesting in that you have them on more or less ...
4
votes
5answers
625 views

How would one detect a black hole when there are no more light sources for it to refract?

The universe as we know it has ended. The concept of “natural” illumination ended when the last red dwarves and quasars died out. Now, only brown dwarves and blackholes dot the empty void that was ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Is it theoreticaly possible to phase shift between alternate universe and/or realities?

It's something that's been used several times as a plot device on Star Trek, notably in the TOS episode "The Tholian Web", and the TNG episodes "The Next Phase" and "The Pegasus". I'm certain it's ...
8
votes
3answers
657 views

Methods for melting metals in space

I was wondering what the best ways for turning minerals mined in the asteroid belt into useable materials would be, so far I came up with three methods, utilizing nuclear, electromagnets, and finally ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Binary Star System Build - Alpha Centauri

I'm not sure if this site or Astronomy would be better, but I figured I would try here instead. I am attempting to create a [semi]plausible star system in Alpha Centauri for a series. The system was ...
6
votes
1answer
232 views

What, visually, would a hole bored in the moon look like?

If you took a giant drill (~one hundred meter circumference) and bored down two kilometers into the moon, what would it look like (assuming the lighting was good)? Is there a gradient, or is it a ...
3
votes
0answers
56 views

Space travel energy limitations [closed]

For long distance space travel (between galaxies etc), I am trying to work out whether the amount of mass being transported is of significance, or is only the amount of drag important? For an example,...
6
votes
2answers
120 views

Feasibility of Hydrogen-Oxygen Atmosphere

My augmented society of humans have managed to engineer their power-hungry cyborg components to run on a hydrogen fusion reactor. Whilst they have so far managed to fuel it by drinking lots of water, ...
6
votes
3answers
446 views

How long and where could an antimatter object survive in space?

Are there any areas of space where an antimatter object, the size of a small house could survive without coming into contact with any or extremely minimal amounts of matter? I had assumed in all ...
-3
votes
2answers
107 views

What is colder a cold planet or vacuum of space? [closed]

Considering a cold planet , very cold one, would an environmental suit be specifically needed for such an environment or a spaceuit would be enough? Considering the planet has an atmosphere to ...
5
votes
1answer
126 views

Quick! How far away is that asteroid?

How might an enterprising spacer, mining the rings of Saturn, go about quickly measuring/estimating the velocity of and distance to a nearby moving object (asteroid, habitat, pirate, etc)? Bonus ...
2
votes
3answers
111 views

Is it theoretically possible to design wormhole gates for space travel? [closed]

In the story I am writing I would like space travel to be as realistic as possible. Wormholes are a theoretical possibility but they are incredibly unstable as well as difficult to manage, but they ...
14
votes
9answers
4k views

Would a single solar system be able to come up with a main time system?

I have a solar system containing multiple planets, most having an intelligent species inhabiting it. To keep a common peace, they created a large government system to help stop territorial wars ...
6
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11answers
676 views

Which natural resources could warrant interstellar conflicts?

Imagine a distant future in which humans’ descendants have scattered throughout the stars, settling wherever they can. Some planets and moons are resource-rich paradises, while others are barren ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

My setting has a multiverse, how could the agency in charge of naming them and documenting them tell them apart?

They'd be documented and named similar to how NASA give names to planets or stars. Since there is literally an infinite number of universes, I think they'd have a name followed by a Roman numeral. ...
29
votes
29answers
9k views

How could humans reach distant stars and still stay as a united government if you can't use faster than light travel

If we didn't have the capability to use faster than light travel then how could we stay unified and are any realistic examples in science fiction?
21
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9answers
6k views

Plausible reason not to notice a planet

Imagine a generation ship heading for a distant star. Humanity had means to observe that star up to a point, that it is 99.9% sure the star has a colonizable Earth-like planet (with water and ...
28
votes
17answers
11k views

Best place on Earth to fake being on a distant planet?

Lets say an alien trickster wants to trick a group of human astronauts into thinking they’ve been transported to another world far away. But in reality, he wants them to stay on good old Earth, ...
24
votes
12answers
7k views

How might my futuristic interstellar civilisation have missed a Dyson swarm on their doorstep?

It's the future. The setting is about as "hard-ish sci-fi" as it is possible to be, with the one big exception of a viable FTL engine. Humans have began spreading out into the galaxy, colonising ...
5
votes
3answers
231 views

How to explain a planet with visible cosmos at daytime?

So I'm working on a fictional planet which would experience a daytime sky similar to this. This particular picture is from the movie Valerian: City of a Thousand Planets. Fictional alien atmospheres ...
5
votes
8answers
273 views

Why is this planet attuned with a plane of pure energy?

Scenario: Human technology has advanced to a point of having faster than light travel, solving Alcubierre's engine energy requirements by tapping energy from subspace. (I know it's not the only ...
5
votes
3answers
122 views

What is the most damage/destruction I can do to Venus by redirecting sunlight?

Assuming I have the technical means of redirecting sunlight from a position in interplanetary space (placing the mirror[s] wherever necessary), how much havoc can I wreak on the planet Venus? Of ...
1
vote
3answers
98 views

Attempting to Cripple Society while Preserving Biosphere

Asking for a project that's floated in and out of my head for the past few years. I'm desiring to create a scenario where human society is globally affected - not wiped out, not even Mad-Maxed, but ...
8
votes
3answers
165 views

Liquid-breathing piloted craft

Let us assume at some time in the near future, medical science perfects a biologically safe liquid air solution. It can fill up the lungs of the adult human subject and they can breathe it potentially ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

Plausibility and possible applications of an antimatter-catalyzed nuclear pulse propulsion system? [closed]

How far are we today from using the technique of using microgram quantities of antimatter (say, antihydrogen) to catalyze a reaction in a sub-critical mass of fissile material for the purpose of ...
3
votes
4answers
168 views

Feasibility of a black-and-white FTL drive?

I have an idea for a faster-than-light spacecraft that I would like to run by the expert minds in this community for a plausibility check. Basically the interstellar ship itself is of unspecified ...
5
votes
2answers
97 views

Astrophysical jets used as energy sources

How could astrophysical jets, emitting matter from black holes be used as energy sources by a space-faring nation? How could they be able to collect and use this form of energy?
4
votes
1answer
86 views

How long would it take for a room full of bodies to decay in a locked space station without oxygen? [duplicate]

So the idea is to have my main characters wake up from cryo with no idea of how long they were in it and stumble upon a room full of bodies completely decayed to bone and however long they were in ...
5
votes
4answers
143 views

Minimal counter pressure space suit, 10 minutes survival time

Counter pressure spacesuits allow, in theory, a wearer to not be in an air tight space suit and work in a vacuum. What is the minimum such suit that could be used in a survival situation, on a ship, ...
-1
votes
1answer
139 views

Is an Earth-to-Moon missile technologically possible?

Given current capabilities, is it possible for a missile launched from the surface of the Earth to impact the surface of the Moon? I would imagine the same "rocket" used send stuff to the ISS could ...
1
vote
3answers
97 views

Would tidal acceleration mean doom for this system?

So we have a Super Earth of ten Earth masses, just on the threshold, and it has three Mars sized moons (so a mass ratio of 100/3, more than Saturn Vs 3 Earths). They go 40,000km, 100,000km, 250,000km ...
8
votes
1answer
224 views

What does a global war look like from space?

In the game Mass Effect 3, several planets are invaded by scores upon scores of hostile aliens, who have enough resources to spread their forces over an entire galaxy and still be largely unstoppable. ...
9
votes
6answers
751 views

Could a mass made up of certain elements or compounds “disrupt” a star?

Inspired by this interesting question-- let's say that the universe was just really, really out to get a particular star, such as our sun. Is there a perfect cocktail where a mass significantly ...
62
votes
16answers
11k views

An Earth-like planet is found in another solar system. What are the top priorities after landing in order to create a self-sustaining colony?

Set in the not so distant future, we find a habitable planet very much like our own. The only downside is that it's around 500 years of travel with our current technological capabilities. We have to ...
2
votes
3answers
109 views

Logistics of how to mine an asteroid [duplicate]

How would one go about mining an asteroid in a broad sense? This question not in the mining itself, but location of the mining. Say you have located an asteroid in that would like to mine. Which ...
9
votes
2answers
285 views

Incoming Rogue Planet! When do we see it?

So say there was a rogue gas giant about the mass of Jupiter that, unfortunately, happened to be headed directly at Earth (or at least close enough to knock it into an orbit incompatible with life). ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

Extracting all water from Ganymede?

Is it theoretically possible to extract all ice and water from moons with subsurface oceans like Ganymede or Enceladus? What would the consequences of isostatic rebounding be if this was done on a ...
14
votes
12answers
11k views

Is stealing the moon actually possible?

I'm writing a heist story set in the near future. The goal of my main protagonists is to actually steal the Moon. The budget of their escapade is not a variable; they will get this done however ...
-2
votes
2answers
99 views

Inter-Planetary Communication [closed]

In my universe humans have colonized Phobos, Deimos, the moon, and Mars. However, they have no fast way to communicate with each other. I'm looking for a fast and possible way for humans to ...

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