Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 2 months ago

# Would a bullet fired from a gun react the same way if it were fired in outer space?

Does the bullet need oxygen to leave the gun's chamber since its an explosion of sorts that pushes out the bullet

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• 2 months ago

Oxygen is not needed, as the propellant is it's own oxidiser. Oxygen is only needed in combustion, because combining combustible fuel with oxygen involved an exothermic reaction The consequent release of heat gives the characteristics of a fire.

However some chemicals will self-disintegrate in an exothermic process which requires no oxidiser. These are used as propellants. Examples are cordite and guncotton. These propellants will work just as well in space as in an atmosphere.

Once expelled from a gun, the projectile will travel indefinitely at a speed determined by the amount of propellant used, the weight of the projectile and the length of time it is exposed to the expanding gases when the gun is fired (mainly determined by the length of the barrel).

The trajectory of the bullet will be straight unless it is deflected by gravity. If fired in low orbit around Earth, the bullet would ultimately lose speed through atmospheric friction and would soon burn up, probably in less than one orbit, depending on the height of the orbit. Orbital velocity in low earth orbit is about twenty times that of a typical bullet. A sufficiently high orbit would allow the bullet to become a tiny satellite is fired in a suitable direction.

• 2 months ago

The propellant has its own "oxidiser", and then it's just a question of F=ma ,with no atmosphere to slow the bullet down .

• 2 months ago

Gunpowder doesn't require an oxygen supply to ignite.

• 2 months ago

Its trajectory would be far longer with no air to slow the projectile.

The propellant develops a very high pressure when it burns, that is what pushes the bullet down the barrel.