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?
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.