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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.

69
votes
14answers
10k views

How could we fake a moon landing now?

The moon landings actually happened, and there's plenty of contemporaneous evidence of it. But what if the United States government wanted to fake a moon landing now? We have the technology to ...
3
votes
3answers
79 views

Object in the orbit or orbiting Uranus's moon Puck

I realize the response to this question is fairly involved but here goes. I need to have an alien spacecraft either in orbit around Uranus's moon Puck or somewhere in Puck's orbit around the planet if ...
21
votes
13answers
6k views

Most bit efficient text communication method?

What would be the most efficient text communication method for a spacecraft operating on a super low bit rate (I'm talking something like 5 bits an hour, excluding error handling)? As you want both ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

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

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?
2
votes
2answers
108 views

What phenomenon (gravitational?) in space would allow the transfer of humans rapidly between two planets or system-wide?

So what I'm looking for is some plausible idea of two human planets, orbiting each other closely, that despite having regressed to a medieval homage, were capable in this old era of powering solar ...
14
votes
4answers
339 views
+250

Navigating storm fronts in space

Storm fronts — especially surprise storm fronts — are a popular Sci-Fi trope. Ion storms and radiation storms and neutronic storms and they invariably look 2D, like ribbons in space. But ...
17
votes
14answers
2k views

Would an alien lifeform be able to achieve space travel if lacking in vision?

Think of this alien life form as something resembling earth bats, placed in a planet with Earth-like conditions. Micro-bats have small and poorly developed eyes. Similarly, this alien species is ...
14
votes
6answers
339 views

Flight paths in orbit around Ceres?

In my sci-fi world, mankind has begun colonization of the large asteroid Ceres. It's a mining hub, with a lot of cargo vessels transporting things in and out. Hydrogen peroxide fuel is cheap and ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

A pair of similar celestial bodies coming near each other

In my conworld I have two moons (they could be planets if desired as long as they can stay 'close' to a larger nearby body) of habitable size. I want to reality-check and provide an explanation for ...
3
votes
2answers
206 views

Is it possible to break the sound barrier in space with a really fast spacecraft

I was doing some research online about slower-than-light interstellar spacecraft, and it got me thinking about a couple things. Although it may seem empty, the space between stars isn't a perfect ...
6
votes
3answers
435 views

Spaceship fuel on Europa

What would make a good propulsion source for small engines and manouvering thrusters for spacecraft vehicles on Europa (moon of Jupiter), both for near-surface operations (vacuum) and in caves beneath ...
6
votes
4answers
241 views

Could a primitive sapient civilization survive on a planet being pulled along by a shkadov thruster?

From my understanding shkadov thrusters, they use huge mirrors built on the scale of a dyson sphere, to reflect all the radiation of a star in one direction, accelerating the star as an enormous star-...
1
vote
2answers
45 views

How to protect astronauts and spacecraft from solar flares on long space journey?

Background I have a spacecraft traveling from one planet to another, say from Earth to Venus. The journey will take at the least several weeks. During this time, the sun will emit a number of solar ...
37
votes
12answers
9k views

How to get directions in deep space?

A spaceship crew, during their interstellar travel loses control of the spaceship for a few hours due to external factors (exact factor not important). This causes the spaceship to deviate from its ...
9
votes
1answer
143 views

Low-efficiency fusion propulsion?

I'm working on a fusion rocket concept for a hard science fiction setting. I'm envisioning laser catalyzed Proton-Boron reactors (low waste heat, aneutronic, 100% of their output being He4 Alpha ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

Time travel from stationary position?

This is my first question on this site, which I recently found and can’t get enough of. In many time travel scenarios, the machine is static in space. My question is how to explain this. For ...
8
votes
5answers
226 views

How can I make a dense asteroid field?

Okay, so I'm working on a novel and I'd like to have a dense asteroid field, something akin to the old ESB Hoth field, though it doesn't need to match that exactly. The notion is there is an advanced ...
53
votes
19answers
11k views

How do spaceships determine each other's mass in space?

Set in the distant future, space travel becomes prominent and cheap. I can imagine each spaceship would have a multitude array of sensors to track distance and relative position in space. Is there a ...
36
votes
11answers
10k views

Can a space-faring robot still function over a billion years?

This short story, which I've already written, is set in the FAR, FAR FUTURE, where a robotic space probe is exploring as much of the known universe as it can, despite its AI not knowing if its ...
2
votes
4answers
225 views

What use is growing body hair in space?

It is important to tie up loose ends especially when in micro-gravity environment, we sure do not want to accidentally damage the delicate pieces of equipment crucial for keeping the spacers alive and ...
0
votes
4answers
139 views

Fuel for a commercial space shuttle

The Aurora company has unveiled the new Interplanetary Airliner (usually simplified to space shuttle) offering both affordable and comfortable space travel to the middle and upper classes of the ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How to explain planetary rings pulsating?

A spacecraft enters an unnamed system and spotted a gas giant with a pulsating planetary ring, it glows bright intermittently. What natural phenomenon could be responsible for such brilliant display? ...
3
votes
4answers
138 views

What drive/engine would allow Medrunners to make it to Venus from Oberon in one to two weeks

Medrunner Lao Dorn and his team have been given a mission. A young woman has contracted some sort of parasite that is slowly eating away at her vital organs. The doctors on Oberon are unable to do ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How can a large fleets maintain formation in interstellar space?

Earth is under attack, the empire has gathered thousands of battleships each has a displacement of 500,000 metric tonnes and 20 motherships with a displacement of over 15 million metric tonnes now ...
37
votes
18answers
9k views

Why would space fleets be aligned?

Recently I noticed how space fleets are all constructed so the ships are all aligned. With 'aligned' I mean the way how all ships seem to have a 'right way up' and that all the ships have the same ...
9
votes
10answers
1k views

Plausible reason to leave the Solar System? [closed]

According to this article, it would take tens of thousands of years to travel to the nearest star given today's technology. My question is, what could give the countries of today, or most of them at ...
22
votes
19answers
11k views

What is a good reason for every spaceship to carry a weapon on board?

In the near future humanity has started mining on Mars. International (and interplanetary) treaties governing the use of lethal weapons in space dictate that anyone possessing such a weapon must carry ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

What would be some possible ways of escaping higher gravity planets?

I know that chemical rockets would allow for some minor loads to escape the gravity of a planet with higher gravity. My question is, what kind of technology would possibly allow a dominant species ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

Can artificial general intelligence live forever? [closed]

Suppose some advanced civilization has created some AGI. AGI, i.e., strong ai, could successfully perform any intellectual task that a human being can and also carry massive knowledge databases. ...
20
votes
3answers
895 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
157 views

What will it cost me to travel through Time? (Part 1: Travelling forwards in Time - Time Dilation)

There are many questions on Worldbuilding about what item(s) a time traveller should take back in time in order to alter past events or even simply to survive. There has never as far as I know been ...
-4
votes
1answer
90 views

What do you think about pulsed ntr as a low end torch drive [closed]

Can pulsed ntr be a good torch drive. Atomic rocket says that with some development it can be a low end torch ship. Suppose extraction of hot fission fragment is possible and and also better cooling ...
54
votes
22answers
13k views

How to prevent superluminal traveling idiots from wrecking half of the universe?

Linked but not a duplicate of this question. An example of the problem During the last Star-Wars movie, I was dumbfounded by the sheer stupidity of admiral Holdo's move, during this particularly ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

How Long Would Interstellar Expansion Take at Our Current Population Growth in This Circumstance?

FTL (Faster than Light) travel exists,taking around 88 hours 48 seconds to travel 1 light year. FTL communications also exists and takes only 53.28 seconds to travel 1 LY (Light Year). Jumps longer ...
4
votes
9answers
633 views

Why would a group of non-astronauts be sent on a space mission? [closed]

Question (inspired by this question, and of course the 1998 classic Armageddon) Is there a conceivable reason that NASA or any equivalent space agency (ESA, Roscosmos, etc.) would need to send non-...
-2
votes
2answers
111 views

How to physically force a remotedly controlled cannon to shoot? [closed]

Imagine there is an advanced spaceship. It's huge, and it's equipped with cannons operated by some kind of advanced energy source (atomic and upwards). This source is located in the same room as the ...
6
votes
4answers
659 views

Why should astronauts grow and eat Caulerpa taxifolia, the world's biggest single-celled organism?

Caulerpa taxifolia, an algae species popular with aquarium owners, is the largest single-celled organism known to us as of today. It is notable for being able to regenerate from any part of the body ...
13
votes
3answers
337 views

Could you carry a wormhole through another wormhole?

Okay, let's assume that travel between star systems is done through stable, stationary wormholes on the outer boundaries of each system. This alone is slightly magic for now, of course, but let's roll ...
10
votes
11answers
2k views

Harvesting automated war machines

Let`s say there is a planet on which fully automated machines capable of self replication, once belonging to several factions of highly advanced aliens, now extinct, are waging war against each other. ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

Effects of long term exposure to a non-earth like rich atmosphere

Imagine that humanity found a rocky planet with earth like gravity, atmospheric pressure, and temperature, orbiting a sun-like star. The only problem is that the planets atmosphere is that it is ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Square thrusters on spaceships

My question is pretty basic, would square thrusters and RCS ports have any real drawbacks over round ones? I know that angles on windows for airplanes is a problem because of the pressure, so I don't ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Would a sleeper ship need artificial gravity?

If all of the crew and passengers of an interstellar craft were in suspended animation except prior to Earth departure and just before destination arrival, would they need artificial gravity (through ...
4
votes
1answer
329 views

Interstellar Propulsion for Hard Sci-fi Novel

Hypothetical: Hundreds of years into the future. Humanity needs to travel to exoplanets quickly. I'm aiming for hard sci-fi. What kind of propulsion can travel people at 0.1 - 0.9 lightspeed? Is it ...
4
votes
4answers
221 views

How long would it take a matter-antimatter GeV gamma ray laser photon rocket to get to Ross128b (11 light years away)?

I'm writing a colony story, and I want my ship to colonise Ross128b, which is 11 light years away from Earth. I need the characters to be alive when they get there, but it's okay if they've aged ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

The Colonist - Part II: Landing

This is the second part of a series of questions I'll ask about a self-sustaining colonization ship. I'll keep editing this post as things unfold. If you can, check out the other questions of this ...
6
votes
4answers
824 views

Potential system to system travel?

So one of the ideas I've come up with for system to system travel, in the early colony stage of my world, is using fuel boosters to start the journey and then to reach the required speed for the ...
21
votes
9answers
7k views

Could common people be ready to go to space in a matter of days?

Let's say that suddenly NASA needs my characters, a party of scientists without prior experience, to go to space with a Space Shuttle-like spacecraft for a seven days mission. They only need to do ...
7
votes
4answers
224 views

Is it possible to hide a base in the Kuiper Belt?

With the Kuiper Belt being composed of well over 100 million objects - some grand, some insignificant - is it possible to hide an asteroid base from enemy sensors within its confines, combined with ...
41
votes
32answers
10k views

Why would a previously spacefaring civilization become unable to build another interstellar ship?

I'm writing a story in which a civilization previously capable of (firmly technobabble-based) FTL travel has become stranded, orbiting an isolated star with no rocky planets. (There was a planet, but ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Would this design be useful for surviving relativistic impacts?

Let's say that I've developed a new engine that can accelerate at 1G continuously. Within about a year, I'm nearing the speed of light. Naturally, I recognize the danger of collisions with gas and ...