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What Would Happen If You Shot a Gun In Space?
Life Little Mysteries ^ | 2/17/2010 | Natalie Wolchover

Posted on 02/25/2012 3:43:56 PM PST by U-238

Fires can't burn in the oxygen-free vacuum of space, but guns can shoot. Modern ammunition contains its own oxidizer, a chemical that will trigger the explosion of gunpowder, and thus the firing of a bullet, wherever you are in the universe. No atmospheric oxygen required.

The only difference between pulling the trigger on Earth and in space is the shape of the resulting smoke trail. In space, "it would be an expanding sphere of smoke from the tip of the barrel," said Peter Schultz an astronomer at Brown University who researches impact craters.

The possibility of gunfire in space allows for all kinds of absurd scenarios.

Imagine you're floating freely in the vacuum between galaxies — just you, your gun and a single bullet. You have two options. You either can spend all of eternity trying to figure out how you got there, or you can shoot the damn cosmos.

If you do the latter, Newton's third law dictates that the force exerted on the bullet will impart an equal and opposite force on the gun, and, because you're holding the gun, you. With very few intergalactic atoms against which to brace yourself, you'll start moving backward (not that you’d have any way of knowing). If the bullet leaves the gun barrel at 1,000 meters per second, you — because you're much more massive than it is — will head the other way at only a few centimeters per second.

Once shot, the bullet will keep going, quite literally, forever. "The bullet will never stop, because the universe is expanding faster than the bullet can catch up with any serious amount of mass" to slow it down, said Matija Cuk, an astronomer with joint appointments at Harvard University and the SETI Institute.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ammunition; banglist; physics; science; space; spacescience
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To: cripplecreek; EGPWS

The Sun is a celestialized world, where its inhabitants are perfected. The Prophet Brigham Young taught in General Conference: “So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.

It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized.”

See Journal of Discourses, 13:271. Also see Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1 Page 88: “Earth to be Celestialized Sun”

P.S. Mitt Romney swallows this clap trap.

61 posted on 02/25/2012 5:25:38 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Eccl 10 v. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.)
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To: mkmensinger
In space, no one can hear you shoot.

You never watched Battlestar Galactica.
62 posted on 02/25/2012 5:29:32 PM PST by Cheburashka (If life hands you lemons, government regulations will prevent you from making lemonade.)
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To: U-238

Type single action

Caliber 13x50mm rocket

Weight unloaded ~ 620 g

Length about 300 mm

Barrel length n/a

Magazine capacity 6 rounds

During the early sixties a small company MB Associates, founded by Robert Maynard and Arthur Bill, brought up a new weapon that was intended to revolutionize the world of small arms. Known as Gyrojet, it was sort of hand-held, multi-shot rocket launcher. It was advertised as a silent and capable to fire under-water, but in real life Gyrojet weapons turned out to be extremely unreliable and dramatically inaccurate; also, these weapons were rather ineffective at point-black distances, gaining its full power only at ranges of about 40-60 meters (yards). Few of the Gyrojet "pistols" made its way to the jungles of Vietnam in the hands of US military officers, who bought them at their own funds, but no successful reports ever appeared, and by late sixties the Gyrojet project was doomed.

Gyrojet weapon was one of the rare attempts to develop an entirely different weapon with some unique properties. This weapon tried to achieve several goals, including the low noise of firing and underwater fire capabilities, along with significant firepower and penetration. In doing so, it was far from any conventional firearms; in fact, it was a hand-held, multi-shot rocket launcher that fired "armor piercing" projectiles, made from steel and with pointed nose. Each projectile contained its own rocket engine and means for stabilization - either in the form of retractable fins or in the form of inclined jet nozzles which forced the missile to rotate, and thus provide gyroscopic effect for stabilization. Each rocket "motor" burned for about one tenth of a second; maximum velocity of about 380 meters per second (~1250 fps) was achieved at ranges about 20 meters from muzzle, while muzzle velocity was as low as 30 meters per second (~100 fps). Because of that slow acceleration the Gyrojet was almost useless a weapon at short ranges, within 5-7 meters. Another problem, inherent to this weapon, was poor reliability (even in ideal conditions this gun was to misfire about once in every 100 rounds; in actual life it did so much often than that). Add to this very poor accuracy because of insufficient stabilization of projectiles during early stages of trajectory, and you get more of curiosity and collectible piece rather than combat weapon. Probably the only plus of this weapon was that it indeed was more or less silent - when fired, it produced a short hiss, sort of a pierced tire sound, clearly different from any typical gunshot. However, it deserved its place in the history of small arms as one of the very rare attempts to made unconventional combat weapons that worked, even only to some extent.

Also, it must be noted that Gyrojet weapons were made not only as "pistols" but also as "carbines" as well, with longer "barrels" and shoulder stocks. Furthermore, there were two "marks" of Gyrojet. Major difference between Mark 1 and Mark 2 weapons was caliber of projectiles - original Mark 1 weapons used 13mm rockets, while later Mark 2 weapons used 12mm rockets to conform with US gun laws that set maximum legitimate caliber for civilian weapons as 0.5 inch (12.7mm).

The Gyrojet launchers were made in the form of a large pistol (or carbine). Frame was made from aluminium alloy, with perforated "barrel" which served as a launching guide for rockets. Up to six rockets were stored in integral, single stack magazine located in the grip; magazine was loaded from the top, through the slide-open cover. After loading, top rocket remained in the "barrel", resting against stationary firing pin, set into the rear of the barrel tube. Once trigger is pressed, it releases the hammer, which rotates back and hits the nose of a rocket, pushing it toward the stationary firing pin. Primer in the base of a rocket ignites the rocket charge, and sends the projectile accelerating down the "barrel" tube. This movement cocks the hammer and also frees the space for next rocket to rise from magazine into firing position. To provide necessary means for cocking the hammer for first shot, it has been fitted with side extension that projected outside of the frame from the curved cut on the left side of the frame. Manual safety was fitted at the left side of the grip, and magazine follower also had a projection that allowed to lower it manually for loading.

History Channel bit on the Gyrojet.

Firing Gyrojet on range.

Different camera angle.

63 posted on 02/25/2012 5:29:47 PM PST by AnTiw1
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To: U-238

Some aliens windshield would get busted and they would want to return the favor

64 posted on 02/25/2012 5:31:03 PM PST by Flavius (What hopes for victory, Gaius Crastinus? What grounds for encouragement ?)
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To: Lazamataz

The astronomers I regularly talk to - respected astrophysicists - are certain the laws of physics do not change - Except in a singularity, of course.

65 posted on 02/25/2012 5:32:44 PM PST by GAB-1955 (I write books, serve my country, love my wife and daughter, and believe in the Resurrection.)
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To: PapaBear3625

Room temp or vacuum of space temp?

66 posted on 02/25/2012 5:35:18 PM PST by BigpapaBo (If it don't kill you it'll make you _________!)
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To: GAB-1955
The astronomers I regularly talk to - respected astrophysicists - are certain the laws of physics do not change

There's not much by way of evidence of that, one way or the other. They've lept to an article of faith, not science.

The best we can say is, "We don't know yet".

67 posted on 02/25/2012 5:36:45 PM PST by Lazamataz (If unemployment helps the economy, like the W.H. says, then CONTRACTING CANCER MAKES YOU HEALTHIER!)
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To: Lazamataz
>"The discovery - if true - violates one of the underlying principles of Einstein's theory of General Relativity,"

Depends on your point of view.

Viewed from outside of the 4D time/distance/matter universe. It is known fact.

It's that we know so little of the other dimensions. Like fish in a fish bowl that don't even know they are in a fish bowl.

68 posted on 02/25/2012 5:37:23 PM PST by rawcatslyentist (BO Stinks! So does Mitts magic underwear!)
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To: U-238

Remember that story in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, published before the first moon landing, when the guy was transferred to the moon base and discovered there were no computers for him to use? They were all busy tracking the rounds of a machine gun fire fight, in low orbit trajectory about four feet off the surface. Suddenly, someone yells “DOWN!” and they all hit the deck as the thousands of rounds blow through the space station bulkheads.

69 posted on 02/25/2012 5:41:19 PM PST by righttackle44 (I may not be much, but I raised a United States Marine.)
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To: Cheburashka

One of the funniest posts I ever read on FR was on a thread about the Space Station’s toilet being broken. Someone posted: “In space, no one can hear you poop.”

70 posted on 02/25/2012 5:43:58 PM PST by mkmensinger
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To: U-238
Good evening. I know you don't want to hear my op/ed, but here goes...

There will be "gunfire," in space, what form it takes, plasma, lasers, whatever, there will be a contest for the high ground. Trust me.


71 posted on 02/25/2012 5:49:59 PM PST by M Kehoe
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To: U-238
I think the more important question here is:

If you're driving your 2007 F-150 thought space at the speed of light and you round the backside of the moon, thereby necessitating the need for your headlights, what happens when you turn them on?

72 posted on 02/25/2012 5:50:49 PM PST by IrishPennant (Why isn't Garlic Bread an entree?)
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To: cripplecreek

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas... a gigantic nuclear furnace, where hydrogen is built into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees.

73 posted on 02/25/2012 6:00:07 PM PST by gogogodzilla (Live free or die!)
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To: U-238

Where’s the golf ball, then?

74 posted on 02/25/2012 6:13:27 PM PST by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: sit-rep

One of the fundamental laws of nature is conservation of momentum. So your velocity depends on the ratio of the inertial mass of your body, spacesuit, and 45 pistol to the inertial mass of the 45 bullet.

The conservation law is m1*v1=-m2*v2. Rearranging terms,

v1 = -m2*v2 / m1

where v1=your velocity
m1=inertial mass of you+spacesuit+pistol
m2=inertial mass of 45 bullet
v2=muzzle velocity of the 45 bullet

75 posted on 02/25/2012 6:18:28 PM PST by Skepolitic
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To: IrishPennant


76 posted on 02/25/2012 6:19:36 PM PST by Skepolitic
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To: Bullish

“I sure am glad they cleared that all up finally.”

Yeah I was losing sleep over worrying what would happen if I shot a gun in space.

77 posted on 02/25/2012 6:23:06 PM PST by DaiHuy (One Big Assed Mistake America)
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To: U-238
Modern ammunition contains its own oxidizer...

So, Natalie, just why do you think the Chinese included saltpeter in their 9th century gunpowder? It wasn't there to prevent the minds of young Chinese studs from thinking unclean thoughts, sweetie.

78 posted on 02/25/2012 6:28:09 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: cripplecreek

Looks like there was a snafu in the belt feeder.

79 posted on 02/25/2012 6:30:44 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Lazamataz

If I’m traveling at the speed of light and I shoot a subsonic round...would that be, like, really lame or something?

80 posted on 02/25/2012 6:31:43 PM PST by Larry Lucido (My doctor told me to curtail my Walpoling activities.)
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