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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
4answers
209 views

How would SSTO aircraft affect warfare?

In my world, an engine very similar to the SABRE engine has been made. Along with it is the development of WEAV propulsion systems. The SABRE engine is a hybrid between a hypersonic jet engine and a ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

My ship is traveling at 0.05c, is the energy from debris impacts trackable?

While once living in Texas, my family and I had the privilege of watching a shuttle re-entry. It was breath-taking. I kid you not, it was like watching the finger of god drawing a line of fire ...
19
votes
5answers
5k views

Is depicting scenes of sub-FTL deep space travel with burning engines accurate?

I've seen many sci-fi scenes that feature a ship underway on a deep space journey. As the ship passes the vantage point we can see engines burning during sub-FTL speeds (The Expanse most recently). ...
1
vote
2answers
207 views

Chapel on a starship? [closed]

Highly related to Maggots at a party... How would alien races dine together? but hopefully not duplicate. I am designing my own Starfleet. I want it to be original, but I know that if I want to avoid ...
2
votes
2answers
402 views

Warp drives without exotic matter?

Taking into account all of the developments in the alcubierre warp drive theory including the new calculations by Harold White. Are their any plausible/theoretical ways to generate a warp bubble ...
0
votes
5answers
378 views

Could alcubierre warp drives spell the end of fleet on fleet combat?

In this scenario let's assume that we have the technology, and exotic matter to build one and have the energy to reach the 0.62912863×10^11 GJ (700 kg mass energy equivalent) requirement under Harold ...
1
vote
2answers
271 views

tachyonic FTL travel?

Suppose you had a device with the ability to temporarily give your ship tachyonic properties. Would this allow for FTL? How would it affect warfare in a sci fi universe? The reason I am asking this ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Long-range observation in space

Explorers are in a spacecraft located 9 AU from a planet. Is it possible to detect fairly small objects (i.e. space stations, artificial satellites, etc., both powered and unpowered) using some sort ...
6
votes
3answers
395 views

What would a rocket launched from space look like?

Suppose NASA, SpaceX or any other aerospace company has managed to build a technology that allows them to fire a rocket to the moon, from "space". Basically, they have created a huge weather balloon ...
6
votes
4answers
218 views

A way to hinder interstellar portalling? FTL travel

So I'm working on a story that at its groundwork has a lot of sciency things, and then has a lot of unsciency things attached to it. The story has an FTL drive which is the good old "fold space, ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Solar radiation overflow

Assume that you are in an alien star system. Your ship is currently being hit by a phenomenon called solar overflow, which messes up your electronics and can kill you without good shielding. It is ...
33
votes
8answers
7k views

Does my Fast-as-Light travel method run afoul of causality or relativity?

I am writing a hard science fiction story and I want to avoid violating known physics, while still enabling some of the classic mainstays of science fiction under the auspice of sufficiently advanced ...
1
vote
5answers
420 views

Does my idea of FTL make any sense?

In my universe, there exist molecular level machines that can behave as a single entity. The humans use them for many purposes, including faster than light travel. The concept is as it follows: The ...
0
votes
3answers
165 views

In a utopian society, why would people still want to explore space? [closed]

In the year 2569, earth has advanced far beyond anyone in the pasts farthest dreams. Robots do all of the work, so people can choose either to not work or get a fulfilling career that they enjoy. ...
7
votes
5answers
743 views

A place from which one could watch time outside move faster

Please reality check my place from which one could watch time outside move faster... A space station constantly moving at near light speed. The space station is created by a race with superior ...
1
vote
0answers
99 views

Spaceship construction for travel to an earth-like planet [closed]

Humanity needs to leave earth and travel to a new home planet. Given that the technology for fusion reactors is available, how fast could they realistically travel? There are two scenarios I'm ...
4
votes
6answers
184 views

Drop capsule shape

Sci-fi setting where cargo is being shipped to colony worlds. If a spaceship has to land and take off again, that costs a lot of money, so that mode of transport is reserved for people and urgent, ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Energy planets, how to get the energy off it in an economical way

In the universe there are several worlds where energy harvesting is feasible without pesky wild life habitat preservers standing on your patch'o land bare breasted. So earth has set out to harvest ...
2
votes
2answers
531 views

What is INSIDE a Wormhole?

IF they were real, would wormholes work in the way that they do in sci-fi (for all intents and purposes "teleportation", travel without movement, FTL, immediately "appearing" at the other location), ...
54
votes
11answers
11k views

How would people conceivably escape a planet too large for chemical rockets?

I was reading this article from NASA about chemical rockets and they argue that, with a planet 50% larger than the Earth (assuming similar density, about 1.5G surface gravity), it would be impossible ...
3
votes
4answers
625 views

Orbital Mass Accelerator. Space Elevator

Can two objects solar powered, equal in weight, traveling on the same orbital path in the opposite directions propel each other to intersect on the opposite side of the Earth in alignment to propel ...
2
votes
3answers
585 views

How long would it take to build a colonization ship?

I am creating a history for my galactic civilization, and was thinking that the first colonization ship might be launched around the year 2200. World War Three Just a few years from now, a third ...
3
votes
5answers
305 views

An alien world with medieval level technology and some sort of mechanism or mode of space travel

The title says it all. How would one go about creating a planet with aliens that have medieval grade technology (windmills and carts and stuff.) No high level technology. However, I want the aliens to ...
-4
votes
1answer
196 views

Can liquid nuclear fuel be injected and ignited like petro from a fuel injector?

[![enter image description here][5]][5] Model Lightcraft under laser power While sadly the funding for this research has not been forthcoming, there have been proof of principle flights and open air ...
3
votes
6answers
192 views

Interstellar high-speed projectile and guidance systems

OK, let's say that you have an interstellar human population. You've got people who live on different planets in various systems, but you also have people living in space stations in different systems....
11
votes
8answers
3k views

Is there a technological difference between going half light speed and near light speed?

Assuming a civilization has the capacity to build space vessels designed to travel from one solar system to another, what is the technological difference between traveling at 50% light speed and ...
5
votes
2answers
406 views

How much ice do I need at 0.79c to protect my megastructure

Ok I have a moon, or cored out moon, that is a generation ship. I really do: I built it by mining out one of the rock/ice moons around my solar systems gas giants (not earth's solar system). Its ...
1
vote
2answers
310 views

How long would it take to set up a galactic government [closed]

Let's assume that the Alcubierre drive has been created, and there are no problems with it, such as energy requirements or time dilation. The human species is united in a planetary government. ...
6
votes
3answers
325 views

How big can a nebula be?

How big could a nebula be? If a spaceship were traveling 300,000 times the speed of light (assuming this were possible and had no other effects, such as time travel or time dilation) is it plausible ...
14
votes
4answers
899 views

How well will interstellar ploughs work?

The Humern empire uses Photonic Railways to transport its unimaginably vast cargo containers from one solar system to the next. These ships can reach truly staggering velocities (>0.8c even for 'short'...
19
votes
16answers
6k views

Minimizing the Side Effects of Breathable Outer-Space

There exists a Universe in which all of outer-space is filled with some form of human-breathable air. Theoretically, you could fly a Zeppelin up there and explore other worlds, with a sufficiently ...
-3
votes
2answers
221 views

Can fission create a steady thrust with less weight in space? [closed]

I have seen where atoms can be positioned one at a time to make a picture or write something. Can that same method be used to transfer an atom or atoms at a time into a nanometer width proton beam? ...
-1
votes
1answer
107 views

Electrons in propulsion? [closed]

The thought occurred to me that if propulsion in space required that a ship push mass behind it somehow, then perhaps an engine could be constructed which operated by releasing electrons and ...
-1
votes
1answer
104 views

If you went to the moon, wouldn't you experience space time curvature? [closed]

I am trying to better understand the relationship between space and time. Did astronauts experience an "acceleration of time" when not under the influence of an external massive object like the Earth ...
8
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
182 views

Can time dilation happen in a higher dimensional space or inside a wormhole?

A wormhole usually helps us to create a shortcut to a distant object through a higher dimensional space. Can the time factor in that higher dimensional space differ from our three-dimensional space? ...
12
votes
16answers
4k views

How to slow down human discovery of new planets?

I'm building a sci-fi world set a couple hundred years into the future. If humans were to suddenly discover FTL space travel (which are handwaved away as generic sci-fi warp speed or something) in a ...
8
votes
3answers
982 views

Reasons for pregnancy to be difficult in long-term space travel

I am looking for medically viable reasons why we might discover it to be more difficult than expected to bring pregnancies to term in space. This is for a society based approximately 75 years in the ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Time dilation due to constantly accelerating drives [closed]

I am writing a story on a civilization that has the ability to make constant accelerating drives. The ships will accelerate with 8g's (heavy worlders) for half of the trip and then de-accelerate for ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the best unit of measure for the time portion of a non-earth-bound light“year”?

The question, Reference to Earth in Intergalactic Universe illuminates the shortcomings of the term "light-year", which defines a distance by mixing the universally constant speed of light in a vacuum ...
2
votes
5answers
271 views

Reference to Earth in Intergalactic Universe

The term "light year" is used a lot in futuristic writings that focus on space, but light years are defined based on the length of a single year on Earth. Would that not make the entire measurement ...
4
votes
3answers
571 views

Can this ship exist within our current laws of physics?

I'm an aspiring author, aiming to determine the physical realism of certain fictional concepts within a constructed universe identical to our own. There are many contingent ideas which I must explain ...
5
votes
4answers
440 views

How would two generational ships traveling at point eight cee communicate with each other?

In my story, I have two huge generation ships racing each other to another star system. Assume they are on an exactly parallel path, neck-and-neck, about one astronomical unit apart. They are ...
7
votes
3answers
154 views

How can perpetually-gliding lifeforms develop space travel?

Malgrovian gliders inhabit the middle layers of the atmosphere of Malgrov, a gas dwarf. They spend most of their life gliding, preying on giant balloon-like floating lifeforms. When they get older, ...
24
votes
12answers
4k views

Can you protect a Space Elevator from Space Junk?

The idea of an elevator reaching to the near cosmos is very tantalizing when trying to think of ways off planet. A major draw back to this idea is that a long, thin tower into the atmosphere seem like ...
-1
votes
2answers
73 views

How can a probe at high speed launch a satellite in orbit of another planet? [closed]

This question may seem pointless for some people, but I think it actually may a real problem for space exploration. Imagine an interstellar probe that is launched and accelerated up to 20% of the ...
8
votes
1answer
169 views

Satellite salvaging: safely de-orbit and retrieve spacecraft or other objects

(This question is not about getting scrap metal out of orbit and recycling it: please see the second and third sections of the question text.) Consider an object which was not designed for, or has ...
10
votes
12answers
2k views

Feasibility of coilgun system for sub-luminar interplanetary transport

My story is set within one solar system, which can be assumed to have a similar composition to that of our own: one Class G star, a handful of rocky inner planets and a handful of gas giants on the ...
78
votes
16answers
19k views

Could astronauts find their bearings in the Universe after being transported 6 gigalightyears from Earth?

In my world, humanity reaches their new home among the stars by way of a portal that pops into the solar system one day. This portal instantaneously transports those who enter to a place that is ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

The viability of a skintight space suit

This question would be best answered for the time period of our first colonized planet, which will most likely be Mars. With the thinner atmosphere, weaker gravity, low oxygen, and the bodily damage ...