Do pneumatics work in space?? Like if I were to try to use a pump-action pellet gun in space?? How would that pan out?

9 Answers

  • Fred
    Lv 5
    10 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    You would need to supply a source of air if you were outside of a pressurized spacecraft.  

    Inside of a pressurized space craft you would need to adjust the sights due to loss of gravity or aim only the distance from sights to center of barrel.. indefinitely due no projectile drop due gravity. (or balanced zero gravity in an orbital situation)

    Outside of a pressurized space craft you would have to provide a gas as no air would be available to compress and accelerate the projectile.  The real question would be providing nitrogen with it's high molecular weight or hydrogen with a low molecular weight for rapid movement and acceleration?

    The strange (?) thing about gasses is that more volume escapes threw the same orifice the lower the molecular weight of supplied gas.

    So my untested opinion is the Hydrogen is the gas of choice.(?)

    With that problem … just go with the gas cartridge projectile gun! 

    The exceptional thing about an air rifle in space is a very LARGE acceleration by air into a vacuum, actually a projectile can be more greatly accelerated by using a vacuum than by using compressed air!  So by using both in a vacuum is the best of both worlds!  

    Now?  The only real problem with long range shooting is the orbital velocity!   Since the projectile would have greater speed than speed of shooter all sorts of aiming leads would need to be considered.  If you shot forward the increased speed of projectile would move the projectile into a higher orbit.  Shooting behind orbital direction the projectile would be place in a slower orbit and would fall behind in a lower orbit.  Shooting sideways to orbit introduces all forms or aiming problems!  Shooting sideways at a target in a different orbit introduces more problems!

    Life... outside of shooting miles North or South as rotational energy effects aim as the Earth moves underfoot... is GOOD!     

  • 10 months ago

    Where would the air come from for the pump to compress?

  • 10 months ago

    A pump-action pellet gun works by sucking in air to compress it.  But in space, there is no air to suck in.  So that would fail.  Now, a CO2 cartridge-based pellet gun WOULD work and would propel you backwards.  The momentum would have to balance so you would move backwards a little when firing forwards, and some of the momentum from the discharge would be lost to the pellet because it was expended on you.

  • 10 months ago

    You would be pushed back just a little by the Expulsion of Air

    Every Action creates an Equal and Opposite Reaction

    Newton's third Law of Force

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  • 10 months ago

    In space a pump-action gun will not charge up.  You would have to do that inside the spacecraft or residence before taking it out the airlock.  A CO2 cartridge gun would work for repeated shots.

    The gun will fire a pellet, if you do it fairly quickly, before the compressed air leaks away.

    The air blast and pellet will propel you backwards if you are not firmly restrained (on an asteroid, strapped to a large spacecraft).  But the effect will be slight.  Only a couple grams of matter working against many kilograms of you in your spacesuit will barely do anything.

  • Jim
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    Yes, they'd work very well, in fact, better than here on Earth!

    The lack of a counter pressure work 'suck' the pellet out faster. The problem would be to refill it by hand pumping, you'd need to use a CO2 cartridge.

  • 10 months ago

    in theory it would work, but the vacuum surrounding the pump and chamber could cause it to leak and possibly explode. 

    But if it were designed for the vacuum, it would work. 

    And you would need a supply of air or gas to operate it, as the pump is designed to pump up air to make the pressure. No air, no pressure.

  • 10 months ago

    Pump action, no.  There would be nothing to 'pump' into the tank.  Something with a pre-pressurized cartridge, yes that would work. 

  • Dze
    Lv 7
    10 months ago

    when you fired it you would probably go in the opposite direction of the exit speed of the gas 700fps or whatever it is lol ..

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