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119

(*) Jupiter, for all intents and purposes, doesn't have a solid surface to stand on. Not any more than you could say that Earth's atmosphere has it, before you hit Terra Firma. It's an enormous ball composed of mostly Hydrogen and Helium, but also other heavier elements in smaller parts, and it's so massive that its own gravity compresses these gases into ...


99

Given a pair of objects that are gravitationally bound to each other, they will orbit around their common barycenter (center of mass of the system). The object to be most logically deemed the moon will be the one of lesser mass because it will be further from the barycenter than its companion. For example, Pluto has a gravitationally bound companion named ...


98

The comet's tail always points away from the Sun. Yes, even when the comet is heading back into the outer solar system. This is because the tail isn't a 'trail' of where the comet has been, like a rocket exhaust or contrail, but instead it's gas, ice and other debris blown off by the stellar wind. (There's actually two tails, one made of charged particles, ...


81

Standard atmospheric pressure at sea-level Earth is just 14.696 psi. Compare that to 340 or 300 psi (23.14 and 20.42 amt, respectively). The difference in internal tire pressure in Earth's atmosphere and absence of atmospheric pressure in vacuum of space is only 4.3 - 4.9%. Tires would experience far more dynamic pressure environment due to friction heating ...


74

Gravity isn't just about mass, but about distance, too. Our moon has a surface gravity of about 1/6th of Earth, because it is small and less dense than the Earth is. Surface gravity of a body is inversely proportional to the square of its radius, holding mass constant. That means that if you compressed the moon such that it was $\frac{1}{\sqrt{6}}$th of its ...


60

Did it really happen? Yes. The investigation of Japanese Hitomi spacecraft's failure found that it was spinning too fast due to attitude control error. As a result, the spacecraft spun so fast that several pieces of debris were registered. But it was caused by thrusters, not reaction wheels.


59

To parallel @Heopps answer: Did it really happen? Yes. In spectacular fashion! In 1965 NASA launched a boilerplate Apollo command module on a Little Joe II rocket to test the Launch Escape System (LES), and got more of a test than they'd bargained for. Due to an erroneous installation of gyros the control vanes on the fins went to full deflection upon ...


56

This was tested nearly sixty years ago. Using a very large cup filled with 95 tons of water. An empty second stage of a Saturn I under test was used. Only the first stage should be tested but with full payload of a water-filled dummy upper stage. Dummies with the tanks but without the expensive engines. The dummies should have the same shape and mass as a ...


54

Interesting but no, it wouldn't work for the same reason that astronauts in the International Space Station, other space stations, or orbiting shuttles or capsules do not "feel" gravity with respect to their station or capsule. When you are inside an object which is in orbit, you are in orbit too! The Earth pulls on the station with nearly 1 g and it pulls ...


44

Wouldn't i inevitably spiral to sun surface even if i was faster than 0km/s ? No. On reasonable timescales, an orbit will have a fixed distance of closest approach, called "periapsis." (These timescales shorten if you're close enough to what you're orbiting that an atmosphere can drag you down). You don't really need to "drop in straight line" (which ...


43

Throwing it down at 5 m/s will do basically nothing. That will simply cause it to advance in its orbit a bit. To deorbit, you need to throw it backwards, not down. However in this case, since the feather has a such a low ballistic coefficient, it will promptly deorbit from ISS altitude on its own, without you having to do anything at all. Just wait a bit....


43

The squat end of the spectrum has little to do with solids versus liquids and everything to do with aerodynamics. Spherical tankage is most weight-efficient, so you'd expect squat stages in cases where aerodynamics don't dominate such as your Mars Ascent Vehicle (flying where atmospheric drag is on the order of 1% what it is for Earth ascent) or the Apollo ...


40

Previously posted comments are correct: in free space (assumed free of any other bodies' gravity fields) there is no way to convert the reaction wheels' angular motion to translational motion. There is one tongue-in-cheek way: throw a reaction wheel off the spacecraft in the direction opposite the direction of the desired delta-V! ;-) If you abandon the ...


40

As far as I know, there has not been a space mission that would have been impossible without a theory of relativistic physics. It is true that the relativistic effects are clearly visible in GPS clocks. However, if the theory didn't exist, they'd just classify it under "weird observation" and trim the clocks to match ground station clocks. The weird ...


38

He replied that we actually received the signals in just 1-2 seconds with the help of MarCO CubeSats. Later on followed up with confusion from other users with his statement and asked for clarification, he then mentioned that it is relating to quantum entanglement for communications. This is nonsense; the MarCOs received the signals in 1-2 seconds, but ...


36

The main engineering challenge in implementing your proposal is that in order to be competitive with a chemical rocket engine, the grinding wheel must rotate at an extremely high velocity. A typical chemical rocket might have a specific impulse between about 250 and 450 seconds; therefore, the exhaust velocity is about 2500-4500 m/s. In a competitive ...


34

The pendulum fallacy is the belief that rockets would be passively stable with engines at the top, with the rocket "hanging" from them. The error lies in expecting gravity to pull the body of the rocket down while the engines pull it up. In reality, gravity acts on the body of the rocket and the engines equally, exerting no torque (except for ...


31

It would not freeze into a block. It would quickly expand and boil, but not in a rolling boil. Without pressure, bubbles would form throughout the coffee and expand rapidly, causing it to spray out of the mug as soon as you released the catch that would have been necessary to hold the lid on. But evaporation causes cooling, so millions of frozen coffee ...


29

I'm afraid you are incorrect. An object on the equator of Earth has a velocity of ~460 m/s. A satellite in geosynchronous orbit has a velocity of ~3000 m/s. You may be confused by the fact that both objects complete an "orbit" in 24 hours. But consider the fact that the satellite travels a significantly greater distance in that time.


29

It turns out that yes, there are things you can do, but they depend on things other than the astronaut's body, and they will take a long time. Physics tells us that an object's translational momentum is constant unless acted upon by an external force. If the astronaut's net momentum with respect to the room is zero, there is nothing they can do to start ...


28

Yes, it is possible. As James K observed in a comment, the surface gravity of Uranus is slightly less than that of Earth, but its mass is 14 times larger. If Earth were orbiting Uranus, it would be a very large moon, but it would still be considered a moon, and thus a moon with a higher surface gravity than its planet. The reason this is possible is that ...


27

The Chelyabinsk meteor was travelling at over 65,000 km/h when it hit the brunt of the atmosphere 23 km high in the air. This is 60 times the speed on sound! NASA estimates that the meteor's mass at this point was 10,000 tonnes, and it had a diameter of 20 meters. At these incredible speeds, the body is placed under immense stress. Colossal pressure is ...


27

Was standard Newtonian mechanics sufficient or were relativistic effects included? Relativistic effects didn't have to be modeled; other sources of error would have swamped the effects of relativity, and midcourse corrections were made. Were the Earth, Moon, and spacecraft modelled as point masses or more complicated bodies? The moon's gravity was ...


26

Apparently not: I like this Quora answer. Here's part of it, the rest is worth reading as well: No experiment conducted using entangled photons has ever demonstrated faster than light communication! There have been many such experiments. They were not looking for faster than light communication. They were testing quantum mechanics against Einstein's local ...


25

I am referring to rockets capable of taking supplies and humans to other planets. For an interplanetary single-stage rocket with tens to hundreds of tons of payload capability, no existing propulsion system can do the job in a practical way. Chemical rockets lack the fuel efficiency; electric rockets don't have the thrust required to leave Earth's surface. ...


25

Fortunately, it turns out humans come with a nitrogen/CO₂ thruster built in... Assuming the room is filled with air, I reckon the best method is to use your breath. What you should do is, point your feet in the direction you want to go (there are quick standard techniques for this, like what cats do to land feet-down). Then breathe in deeply using your nose ...


24

I'm leaning toward option 2, that you "have something terribly wrong in [your] thought process". Here's at least some arguments why; I by no means claim this to be an exhaustive list: Mach 3 (which is pretty fast for a fighter aircraft, toward the upper end of the currently attainable range) is right about 1 km/s (Google calls it 1020.87 m/s), and you don't ...


24

We can launch from space and in a sense, we already are. If you consider upper stages of orbital launch vehicles that might send spacecraft into higher Earth orbit or even escape Earth's gravity well altogether, we really ignite those when they're already in the vacuum of space. And depending on the launch vehicle's capability and intended trajectory, they ...


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