Main Space Friction Discussion

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12:39:54 PM Jul 7th 2017
Perhaps we should add Star Control 2 to the exceptions? While it doesn't have Newtonian physics exactly, you still need to decelerate your ship in order to stop moving. Though, the trope is played straight in Hyper Space, and when you move out of the area near planets, you stop moving.
09:57:27 PM Mar 12th 2015
Space is not a perfect vacuum. Friction in space has many sources i.e. dust gas and other random atoms. Even radiation causes friction and we all know space is full of it.
05:27:59 AM Mar 23rd 2013
  • "Played straight in Mission to Mars, most notably where a character with a rocket pack tries to rescue another character who had done something silly - complete with fuel gauge running down. Kind of sad, as they'd done the space flight physics pretty well up to this point. Also, the friction from the space air doesn't seem to be affecting Woody - oh but that must be because he's not wearing his rocket pack any more ...
    • Not that the movie is any good, but the reason for the rocket pack fuel gauge thing was because they weren't adrift in space, but rather orbiting Mars. The guy without the fuel was invariably going to end up crashing into the planet - he needed fuel to escape the gravitational pull of Mars and get back to the shuttle. Anyone who went to get him would have succumbed to the stronger gravity as well and therefore he did the noble thing and removed his helmet..."

Removed "Not that the movie is any good" line. I didn't think the movie was the greatest, but an opinion of its quality doesn't have much to do with whether or not it illustrates, subverts, inverts, or averts the trope.
05:32:29 PM Mar 30th 2010
I cut some natter from the main body... wow, failing science so hard it HURTS. (FYI, the "F" in "F=ma" refers to force in general, not friction.)

  • Viscous space and being swept away in space is a close cousin of this trope. It is a poor attempt to apply hydrodynamics to space.
    • Example: A character lets go of the ship(while it is traveling at a constant speed) and is immediately swept behind the ship (often into the engines). This treats the ship as if it were a stationary object in a fast moving stream, when a twig falls of it is swept away. When in reality every thing that is in contact with the ship is moving at a given speed, it you let go nothing happens you just sit there motionless relative to the ship. (this obviously does not apply to a accelerating ship).
      • Then again, given the lack of friction to slow you down, if the engines are active you're accelerating, arent you?
        • F= ma. Since you obviously have mass, no F means no a.
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