Questions tagged [space-travel]

For questions about the process of traveling through space, including in orbit around a planet or moon. Consider also [spaceships]. See also the tag information (click "info") for more details on when this tag applies.

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2
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4answers
96 views

Perfect centrifuge crew quarters for a interstellar spaceship?

I want to design a realistic interstellar spaceship that uses centrifugal force for only the crew quarters. But while looking up for designs I found the most common ones are the torus or ring design. ...
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1answer
82 views

What would the view from a spaceship traveling through inter-galactic space look like?

My character is traveling aboard a spaceship through inter-galactic space (it has left the Milky Way). The ship is traveling at the speed of light or so and has been for the last six thousand years. ...
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2answers
40 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 ...
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4answers
170 views

Are (near) instant data transfers feasible on an intergalactic scale?

Inspired partially by this comment on one of my answers, I got to thinking on what the quickest way to communicate would be on an intergalactic scale. Say humans have colonised the galaxy, and use ...
6
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5answers
183 views

What would people on multi-generational ships eat?

Strange! this question does not seem to be on site with a search (only what to wear). I am concerned about the psychological aspect of food production and eating. Clearly tube food is out and I think ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Why don't ejectable fission reactors proliferate if meltdown is still a concern?

Set in the not-so-distant future, interplanetary travels are the norm. Most spaceships are powered by fission reactors, and accidents do happen due to negligence or flaws in the system. It will ...
2
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3answers
88 views

Designing a biological drop pod?

How would a biological drop pod make it into the atmosphere and land safely? I have a race of aliens that use biological tools instead of technology. Their ships are living beings that can travel ...
2
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2answers
115 views

Base on the Moon for interplanetary travel

In my book which is set in the near future (some hundreds years from today) the mankind has mastered interplanetary travel. Although the travel to let's say Pluto is possible, it still takes several ...
17
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6answers
10k 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 ...
6
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1answer
649 views

Is this a plausible interstellar propulsion system?

Interstellar travel is hard and complicated, yet I want to have a plausible interstellar propulsion system for my setting. Rockets are out because of the rocket equation and the horrible top speeds ...
2
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1answer
85 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 ...
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6answers
3k views

What is a good reason not to mine a planetary ring?

Most planetary rings are rich in water in the form of ice, especially now we are running low on freshwater reserves on Earth. Imagine someone discovered a huge chunk of meteorite consisting of a ...
7
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2answers
125 views

Formula for send and response times of messages at fraction of light speed?

I have a ship that begins the equation traveling at 50 percent the speed of light, but decelerating constantly to finally land on a certain planet (towards which it is moving the entire time). It ...
6
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10answers
3k views

How fast would a civilization with FTL spread out?

Let's say that a civilization has access to FTL. Let's say it is instantaneous so travel time between solar systems isn't a factor. How long would it take for them to spread out from their home solar ...
2
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1answer
158 views

Message sent to a ship traveling away at 37.5% light speed? [closed]

I have a ship traveling away from Earth at around 37.5 percent of light speed. How long will a message take to reach first Earth, and then a response to reach the ship, both from Earth perspective and ...
7
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4answers
234 views

How could a skyhook stay in orbit with no human involvement for thousands of years

In the story I'm writing, three humans with stone-age technology and no knowledge of space accidentally awaken thousands of cryogenically preserved humans. These humans immediately get to work on ...
2
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1answer
100 views

How fast do we spin this for 'One g'

Following on from this question. Question Context : Mars second moon Deimos has been converted into a generation ship. A considerable portion of its mass has been shaved off during the process &...
4
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1answer
122 views

How many people can a sealed 3x1x1 km biome support?

Question Context : Mars second moon Deimos has been converted into a generation ship. A considerable portion of its mass has been shaved off during the process & ejected backwards along its path ...
1
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3answers
111 views

Why does FTL travel require a human who can survive in space? [closed]

Imagine ftl space travel that requires modifications to the human body enabling them to survive in space without a spacesuit, possibly even truly skyclad. What mechanism for ftl travel might require ...
34
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6answers
7k views

Why is dwarfism considered an advantage for jobs in space?

First, a clarification: Dwarfism is the umbrella term for 200+ medical conditions that result in short stature. Since this is Worldbuilding, my question refers to human beings with genetic dwarfism (...
10
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1answer
172 views

Could the Breakthrough Starshot probes be detected in their taget system by modern or near-future technology?

The Breakthrough Starshot is a method of robotic interstellar exploration by launching thousands of small centimeter-sized probes, each equipped with a 4 x 4 meter light-sail. Thanks to their small ...
4
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2answers
417 views

Can tiny astronauts reach space?

Imagine a species one foot tall that has a relatively large brain for its size. The species has human like intelligence and in principle the ability to build anything that we could. It lives on a ...
2
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2answers
185 views

Space travel without knowledge of relativity

A civilization has begun its space program without any knowledge of general or special relativity. How would this affect the program? Would this establish any limits on where/how they could travel? ...
3
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2answers
61 views

Using spin gravity only for stationary activities?

For a spacecraft cruising without thrust it is my understanding that the sort of spin gravity utilized in the film 2001, for instance, would actually be debilitating to the crew due to the coriolis ...
4
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4answers
160 views

Properties of a new engine

In my story, I need a spaceplane, that is, a shuttle which can fly in an atmosphere as well as in space. It needs to be able to land from space, and then take off and go to space without refuelling on ...
5
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5answers
955 views

Perils of having a moon consisting of valuable material

In the 1960s we were disappointed to find that the moon is a pile of dust and rubble with no easily accessible valuable materials. Well, we kind of knew it before that, but we weren't sure. Anyway, ...
2
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2answers
137 views

Can a human crew handle cyclic extended high relativistic speed operations?

This question hopes to make a space tug crew's life tolerable. A supply pipeline links two civilizations. Due to the long travel time between the ends, cargo is "thrown" at the other side in unmanned ...
6
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6answers
150 views

Locating rogue planet in deep space based on astronomical observations from its surface?

Assume that you have a Rogue Planet hurtling through deep space. Somehow, an alien civilization from, say, 1,000 ly away acquires astronomical data from this planet. This data is in the form of high ...
7
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3answers
268 views

1g Acceleration Spaceship Design

In my story, a ship is built in orbit around Earth, designed for a 20-person scientific expedition to a planet 11.4 ly away. It will accelerate at 1g for half the distance, then flip around and ...
10
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3answers
299 views

Hurricane-force winds or gentle breezes in an O'Neill Cylinder?

Let's consider an O'Neill cylinder with a radius of 3.2km and length of 20km. In the classic O'Neill design, we have three large axis-aligned windows in the shell, alternating between purlins of ...
8
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1answer
369 views

Do Alcubierre Drives Mandate Time Travel, or Just Allow it?

So, I've heard that while Alcubierre drives might present a semi-plausible way of getting around the light speed limit (if you can get ahold of negative energy), they do so at the expense of creating ...
2
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1answer
102 views

The solar system is open for exploration. What fundamental research will we do first? [closed]

In the near future, technology and budgets for space flight have advanced considerably, with lots of uncrewed probes around and crewed missions as far as Mars. Notably, there's a significant ...
4
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1answer
154 views

Metallic hydrogen powered vehicles

Let’s say metallic hydrogen becomes an economically viable resource that we are able to either make ourselves or mine from a gas giant, how would we use it as a power source for vehicles both ...
35
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19answers
10k views

Are dead worlds a good galactic barrier?

In my fictional universe there are two galactic civilizations that have never interacted until recently and thus have developed different cultures, science, etc. From a technological standpoint, one ...
31
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6answers
5k views

What could possibly power an Alcubierre drive?

I understand that in order to compress and expand spacetime, an Alcubierre drive would require some sort of "exotic matter" with a negative energy density. Is that sort of exotic matter purely ...
3
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2answers
161 views

Explain the rotation and positioning of O'Neill cylinders to me

I have seen Isaac Arthurs video of O'Neill cylinders and read through many descriptions, but it still is not clear to me how exaclty the two counter-rotating cylinders are placed in regard to another ...
5
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3answers
351 views

How fast could our modern-day world build a rocket to the moon if we threw our resources at it?

For some reason, all the nations in the world have banded together. Their goal? Go to the Moon. Their budget? As much as the planet and humans can throw at it. How fast could we build a reliable and ...
2
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2answers
177 views

How would time dilation affect a fleet moving through a black hole's event horizon?

In a game scenario I am developing, one option for a fleet to infiltrate an enemy is to use ftl to "hard burn" through a black hole's event horizon. Their ftl drives use a "warp bubble" principle to ...
9
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1answer
203 views

What is the fastest an earth-like planet can spin and still support life, and would it be possible to launch space-craft from it?

I was wondering, if a planet in similar size and mass to earth would have, from its creation, been spinning at this hypothetical planet speed limit (with it somehow staying in once piece) could life ...
0
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3answers
132 views

Need advice for a sci-fi Scylla and Charybdis [closed]

I want to set up a "Scylla and Charybdis" pair of hazards to space navigation. My idea is to have them blocking the end of a galactic arm that needs to be reached. I had a few ideas for both, but am ...
11
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2answers
507 views

How large would a space station have to be to hold one million people indefinitely?

A moon-sized asteroid approaches Earth in the near future, where space tourism has become normal. The Earth has a few satellite structures above Mars conducting research, as well as successful ...
23
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13answers
7k views

How could a self contained organic body propel itself in space

How could an organic, plant-like, intelligent organism move around space? Assuming that the body is inside a small meteoroid and that outside of the meteoroid is covered in tessellating leaves to ...
8
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3answers
347 views

If an Alcubierre Drive is possible, can you communicate FTL without a vessel?

Assume that an Alcubierre drive is feasible. In fact, assume that one has been built. A superluminal starship can propel itself through space by distorting space in front of it and behind it. However, ...
3
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3answers
182 views

(Semi) Scientific way to explain fast space travel

I am looking for a (if only semi or even the tiniest bit) scientifically explainable way to make a spaceship travel fast enough that interplanetary travel (take the average distance between any 2 of ...
5
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4answers
253 views

Could one use Air Pressure as a form of stealth Propulsion in Space?

This is my first question here so I would like to apologize if this is sloppy or in the wrong place or the like. I have searched and found nothing that answers the exact question I think, so thought ...
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2answers
112 views

Spaceplane simulating winged flight in the vacuum of space?

If a spaceplane were to try to simulate the look of aerial flight in the vacuum, would it be difficult or easy for the pilot to manually simulate aerial maneuvers, using just a contemporary reaction ...
-3
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1answer
128 views

How to calculate time to reach fractions of the speed of light when accelerating at 1g

Currently writing a scifi novel and am trying to do the math to establish time frame of the lore. The main points are that in 2068 CE Earth sent a generation ship to colonize Proxima Centauri. They ...
8
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3answers
310 views

What gases could be present in a viable atmosphere for humans?

I'm working on a story involving humans looking for another habitable planet, and I have been scouring the net for days, finding lots of info on varying levels of oxygen and nitrogen, but none that ...
6
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7answers
3k views

If there were no space agencies, could a person go to space?

I'm writing a story and I was thinking about the ending in advance. I posted a question about how the population would be wiped out. I have developed from that and thought about the virus having no ...
16
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8answers
3k views

Does it make sense to occupy open space?

I was thinking about space as a measured and marked series of boundary lines to denote ownership and governance. The problem is that I'm having trouble seeing that as useful. If there's no particular ...

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