Saw a cool article about gyrojet weaponry and was thinking that these guns could probably be pretty useful in space. Mainly I was thinking more of a space grappling hook than space weaponry. 380 m/s delta-V shooting a tether meant to attach to an asteroid or something could be useful. Has anyone actually tested this type of weaponry in space (Im assuming not based on the answer to the guns in space question)? More broadly: Has anything in space exploration used this type of gyrojet technology to accomplish moving some small projectile for any purpose?

  • $\begingroup$ It's unfortunate that the space-gun tag doesn't have a definition yet. All of the other questions that use the tag are about the space gun launch technology, "a method of launching an object into space using a large gun- or cannonlike structure." You should probably find a better tag for this question if there are any at all. You can search the site for the word weapon and get an idea how this might be done. space.stackexchange.com/search?q=weapon I'll add a definition for this tag now. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Sep 19 '18 at 5:14
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh I've changed it to rockets, as the question is more about technologies that propel a small object in a stabilized manner for a functional purpose at its core. I doubt I'll find a more specific one than that. $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Sep 19 '18 at 5:28
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    $\begingroup$ Besides Larry Niven stories I've never heard of any uses. $\endgroup$ – GdD Sep 19 '18 at 8:27
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh, If we ever have active-duty, soldiers serving in space, they probably will be taught not to say "gun" unless they are talking about large, crew-served weapons or launchers. They would call a hand held Gyro Jet launcher a "space sidearm." $\endgroup$ – user27176 Sep 19 '18 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ The closest thing I can think of involving shooting something in space is the harpoon cannon on Rosetta's Philae lander. $\endgroup$ – Dragongeek Nov 20 '18 at 21:33

Would it work?

Depend on how the bullet is stabilized:

  • Gunpowder works
  • If the bullet is spin stabilized with retractable fins; no: there is no air in space
  • If the bullet is stabilized by nozzles arrangement yes.

Has it been used before?

That's a tricky question; and depends on how far you are willing to stretch the definition.

Some rockets are spin stabilized

This is the same working principles as a gyro jet... minus the launch tube.

I tried to find if any space capable submarine launched rocket is spin stabilized (would really be gyro jet like); but couldn't find a definite proof. Same for various harpoons fired by probes.

Would it be useful?

Yes. The distinct advantage versus gun types is that the recoil is mostly not transmitted to the sender, since most the delta/v is produced after exiting the tube.

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  • $\begingroup$ The definition of a gyrojet weapon is literally, "the bullet is stabilized by nozzles arrangements." $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Nov 19 '18 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ @MagicOctopusUrn The first gyro jet used fins instead, according to the article you linked. $\endgroup$ – Antzi Nov 20 '18 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ The first were before the space race even started, it would be hard to use fins in space :P. Pretty much in the realm of sci-fi for now anyways. No real purpose $\endgroup$ – Magic Octopus Urn Nov 20 '18 at 0:54
  • $\begingroup$ @MagicOctopusUrn yes but they look cool ! $\endgroup$ – Antzi Nov 20 '18 at 0:59

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