Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS) (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Propulsion in Zero-G by Flatulence -- The Definitive Answer (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=875872)

CalMeacham 05-21-2019 06:31 AM

Propulsion in Zero-G by Flatulence -- The Definitive Answer
 
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/astro...b0e69c18f08d75

Quote:

If you’ve ever wondered if farts were strong enough to propel you in space, the good news is you’re not alone.

The better news is that question has now been answered by someone who would know: retired U.S. astronaut Terry Virts, who has served as commander of the International Space Station and pilot of the space shuttle Endeavour during his two trips to space.

The bad news?

Well... they aren’t. Sorry.

...

The issue has come up for air before. In a 2017 interview with Gizmodo, shuttle astronaut Mike Massimino was asked about the possibility of being propelled by space farts and sneezes.

″[I]f you’re really still and gave a good sneeze, that would give you a little kick, yes,” he said, but being propelled by farts is “easier said than done.”

ftg 05-21-2019 07:05 AM

The big problem with a sneeze is getting the angle lined up with your center of gravity. The regular way of sneezing would impart more angular than linear motion. You have to tilt your head way back, etc. And for an involuntary reflex like sneezing that's not easy to do.

(Keep in mind that prior to the sneeze you need to inhale in the opposite direction.)

Note that it's far harder to adjust the angle at the other end. OTOH, it's sort of already lined up and the CoG can be adjusted by bending.

Darren Garrison 05-21-2019 07:15 AM

And the problem with farts is doing them while wearing pants, which contain the momentum within the astronaut/pants system. Accleration would have to happen with a pantless farting astronaut, though too little to notice.



And now I'm going to contemplate all my life choices that led to my writing the above paragraph.

CalMeacham 05-21-2019 07:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ftg (Post 21653996)
The big problem with a sneeze is getting the angle lined up with your center of gravity. The regular way of sneezing would impart more angular than linear motion. You have to tilt your head way back, etc. And for an involuntary reflex like sneezing that's not easy to do.

(Keep in mind that prior to the sneeze you need to inhale in the opposite direction.)

Note that it's far harder to adjust the angle at the other end. OTOH, it's sort of already lined up and the CoG can be adjusted by bending.

Pretty clearly what is called for is some sort of tubular extension that can redirect the force of the nasal or anal blast without attenuating it too much.


Gives a whole new meaning to "set her down on her nose jets." Or Tail Jets.

blindboyard 05-21-2019 08:31 AM

Have you never seen Thunderpants?

Patch 05-21-2019 08:34 AM

I have to imagine, pantless or no, the other ISS astronauts fought vigorously to prevent any in-depth testing of the hypothesis.

Paintcharge 05-21-2019 08:59 AM

Well that just stinks.


Somebody had to say it...

Slow Moving Vehicle 05-21-2019 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Patch (Post 21654158)
I have to imagine, pantless or no, the other ISS astronauts fought vigorously to prevent any in-depth testing of the hypothesis.

Some knowledge comes at too high a cost.

Kent Clark 05-21-2019 04:48 PM

If I may ask a follow up question. . . If you light farts in Zero-G, what shape does the flame take?

Tim@T-Bonham.net 05-21-2019 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kent Clark (Post 21655256)
If I may ask a follow up question. . . If you light farts in Zero-G, what shape does the flame take?

Ask Grissom, White, and Chaffee.

Heracles 05-21-2019 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tim@T-Bonham.net (Post 21655433)
Ask Grissom, White, and Chaffee.

Still too soon, man. :(

Kent Clark 05-21-2019 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Heracles (Post 21655641)
Still too soon, man. :(

Not to mention the rocket was still on the ground.

Now, if the line had been, "Ask Christa McAuliffe..."




Okay, it's time to go back to kunilou.

swampspruce 05-22-2019 09:42 AM

So would the fart be ejected in a teardrop shape? and then roll around as a sphere before it dispersed?

racer72 05-22-2019 09:54 AM

In my case I would need a seat belt on the commode.

CalMeacham 05-22-2019 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by racer72 (Post 21656451)
In my case I would need a seat belt on the commode.

The toilet on the space shuttle actually has a seat belt, but not because of flatulence-induced motion. Ordinary movements are enough to cause trouble:

http://blog.museumofflight.org/secre...shuttle-toilet

Doctor Jackson 05-22-2019 03:52 PM

Quote:

The bad news?

Well... they aren’t. Sorry.
There are 2 things wrong with the study that lead to the quoted conclusion:
1. Wrong point of view
2. Zero gravity is an unnecessary and complicating variable

I have taken part in many, many studies that have all come to the same, repeatable conclusion: propulsion by fart is not only possible, it is a fact.
Study set up: a semi-enclosed room
Participants: me plus N other living beings
Study execution: I fart
Study results: In every case, all N other living things move quickly toward the exit(s)
Study conclusion: farts do indeed propel living things

Anyone wishing to serve as a volunteer "N" subject for future experiments should contact me. Or your psychiatrist.

Slow Moving Vehicle 05-22-2019 04:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 21654014)
And the problem with farts is doing them while wearing pants, which contain the momentum within the astronaut/pants system. Accleration would have to happen with a pantless farting astronaut, though too little to notice.



And now I'm going to contemplate all my life choices that led to my writing the above paragraph.

Darren Garrison, just so you know; I literally giggled aloud for about three minutes after reading this.

Kent Clark 05-22-2019 07:53 PM

Couldn't we just conduct all these experiments on the Vomit Comet? We don't really need to stink up the ISS doe we?


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:07 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.