What happens to a gun shot in space by the astronaut?

5 viewed last edited 2 months ago

I reckon the total momentum will stay the same. A more interesting part of the question is can this concept be used to propel small objects around in space? Rockets obviously will continue using the big and bulky engines but small objects should could use this to move around...

Vivekanand Vellanki

On earth, air resistance and gravity will cause the bullet to lose momentum and crash into the earth.

In space, the bullet will continue to move along its path without stopping. What you have created is a stray bullet that keeps going on and on.

For e.g., if a bullet were shot inside ISS, how will the bullet get stopped? It has to hit someone or something and get stopped. Hitting metal will only cause it to bounce and continue travelling.

Without the presence of momentum trappers, such objects will travel indefinitely causing problems.

If I wanted to pass a fruit in space, I guess I can just throw it and pass it around. The momentum imparted to the fruit this way is small and can be absorbed by someone catching it.

However, a bullet fired from a gun has much more momentum.