If there was a bussard ramjet space craft and it was scooping up hydrogen, how fast would hydrogen fill up the space behind the craft?
So say theres a bussard ramjet ship. And its going fast enough to scoop up enough hydrogen to be self sustaining. How quickly would hydrogen fill in the space that the ramjet just passed through?
- 2 years agoFavorite Answer
I’d say very rapidly; hydrogen molecules in deep space are very sparse; a few dozen to a few thousand every cubic meter, and they’re moving - so, once you go through with your ship, they’d fill in again (much like water behind a boat...) Perhaps a few seconds at the most?
- Newdivide1701Lv 72 years ago
Space is pretty sparse with hydrogen gas, so the pressure wouldn't be immediate as the speed of sound is -- if I were to guess -- damn near light speed. And therefore it would take a very long time to do so.
- spot aLv 72 years ago
The space behind would be partly filled with high speed and hot helium ejected by the Bussard
- Bill-MLv 72 years ago
There is no hydrogen in space. Space is a Vacuum.
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- Donut TimLv 72 years ago
Almost instantaneously. The gasses in space are not dense enough for expansion by pressure as in Earth's atmosphere. Each atom and particle is on a ballistic trajectory and could have any speed unrelated to speeds of nearby particles.
- billrussell42Lv 72 years ago
The ramjet is going to be shooting the hydrogen behind it as it traveled. so that space is not empty. Just that the distribution of hydrogen is changed, in a complicated way. And the temperature of the exhaust hydrogen is a lot higher.