Part five of the six part ‘Obscure Dangers of Spaceflight’ series will go over one of the least thought of, yet most dangerous of all those dangers mentioned yet; the inability to stop. Just showing up to the party? Head on over to the other parts and see what you’ve been missing. You can find them here: Moon Dust, Space Junk, Static Electricity, and Heatstroke.
The Inability to Stop
Perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of spaceflight is the fact that it really doesn’t take all that much fuel to do it. The only thing you have to worry about is getting the craft to its top speed, or the speed at which it will need to travel to get its job done. For the space shuttle, this speed was close to 17,500 miles per hour; a speed that took relatively little fuel to attain. The problem that space travelers are faced with then, of course, is the pesky law that Newton came up with so long ago. See, as it turns out, Newton’s first law states that every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force. Furthermore, he goes on to state in his third law that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.