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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.

6
votes
2answers
163 views

The handwavium drive is broken! Is there any hope?

I was recently looking at this question, which seems to argue that FTL travel within the existing laws of physics can risk resulting in the destruction of half the universe. So, say you've handwaved ...
73
votes
15answers
11k 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
4answers
354 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
88 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
116 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?
2
votes
2answers
112 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Can we identify black holes in our path flying between the stars?

When traveling at fast speeds through the galaxy, would it be possible to identify where all the black holes were on your path? I know most black holes are identified by their affect on other nearby ...
14
votes
6answers
343 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 ...
61
votes
38answers
16k views

Why would technology dictate graphical interfaces to be rare on spaceships?

This question differs from that question in that the other question is asking about a change in history while this question is looking for a change in the future. In a near future setting I am ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
436 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
208 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 ...
25
votes
12answers
11k views

How to avoid objects when traveling at greater than .75 light speed. or How Not to Go SPLAT?

After asking my question about seeing black holes in your path between the stars, I also wondered abut other more mundane objects. Black holes affect large areas of space so even if you didn't get '...
9
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
242 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-...
16
votes
8answers
7k views

What's wrong with moving cables for a Space Elevator?

Ok, Space Elevators have fallen out of the limelight, sorry for them, but the concept is intriguing just the same, so here it goes. One of the worst problem space elevators face is the fact that they ...
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 ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

Fact-based fiction: Electric, no-fuel propulsion for autonomous space drone

In an upcoming writing project, I will be focusing on an autonomous drone that picks through space wreckage. It has access to intermittent star light, but has no source of chemical propellant. The ...
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 ...
20
votes
3answers
896 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
226 views

How to get into space from northern latitudes?

What would be the best way to launch space craft/get into space from a northern latitude? Canada, Scandinavia, UK, Russia, Alaska, those sorts of places. I understand that being closer to the equator ...
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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
5answers
229 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 ...
38
votes
12answers
5k views

How can a space station prevent docked ships from irradiating each other or the station?

I've been puzzling over the logistics of orbital spaceports, and this has been the one sticking point I keep coming to: radiation control between docked, or even neighboring, ships. Mass limitations ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
227 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
338 views

Is it worth having artificial gravity by propulsion, in orbit or in “free space”?

Consider: A spacecraft is travelling between planets. It accelerates at a constant rate for the first half of the trip, and then decelerates on the other half. Throughout the journey, aside from 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? ...
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
140 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 ...
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 ...
70
votes
17answers
16k views

How can I move a planet?

There are a lot of answers on Worldbuilding about how to destroy planets - just as an example - and they seem to be the method of choice for many people intent on destroying the world. My objection to ...
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 ...
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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
161 views

How primitive should the alien technology be to exchange knowledge and culture?

In almost every sci fi alien trope there will be a directive whereby one of the general order states no spacecraft may interfere with the normal development of any alien life or society and is ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
-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 ...
5
votes
5answers
463 views

Artificial gravity as an engine

I have seen some people talk about the idea of ships using their magical anti-gravity systems in a story in order to not only give ships a standard floor layout and inertial dampener systems, but to ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

How would FTL travel appear through window of ship?

How would faster-than-light travel appear through window of a space vessel? All the movies and TV shows like Star Trek and Star Wars seem unrealistic: Star Trek credits: passing stars get bigger and ...
1
vote
2answers
107 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
586 views

Ideal size for a relativistic generation ship?

Assuming the ship has access to fusion power, a large volume of solar panels, and crude antimatter power generators (say maybe 1 gram a day per generator, or whatever is reasonable for technological ...