Can a spaceship come to a full stop?

You see it on many a sci-fi movie where the captain says, “Full Stop”.
Is there such a thing and can you achieve it?

Considering that any spaceship would have the same vector? as the planet/star/galaxy it took off from what would be the reference point?
(Other than the main plot device :Tongue in Cheek: )

Sci-fi ships tend to navigate and move a lot like ocean going ships from back in the days when the captain would order things like “all ahead full” or “full stop”. These commands referred to the engine speed, not the ship speed. This of course makes very little sense in space, but then the guys who give starships a “full stop” are also the same guys that will put it in a geosynchronous orbit over the north pole. :dubious:

While sci-fi physics is just downright silly at times, I’m sure you can “stop” a starship relative to the stars around it. Since everything in space is moving, I can’t see this as being a particularly useful thing to do.

In a sci-fi starship with an upsidaisium drive (or some other sort of virtually free energy), couldn’t you actually achieve this? Might not technically be an “orbit”, but I’m pretty sure if Picard wanted to hang out for a while above the pole, it’d be possible.

Of course, holodecks and other shit are also possible, but y’ know…

It wouldn’t be an orbit, but you could certainly hover on your rockets. Couldn’t do it for very long with our chemical rockets, but antimatter is a fairly energy-dense fuel…

It seemd to me that in most caes, “all stop” really means: “stop our motion relative to that other ship orr asteroid we’re interested in”.

So yes, that can be done, both in free space or a solar orbit. It can be also be done in in a planetary orbit, at least assuming you’re pretty close to the thing you want to hold position against.

And, as everybody else says, practically speaking it’s limited by how much acceleration potential you have in your fuel stores & how rapidly you can apply it without turning your crew into meat-shake (Bass-o-matic anyone?).

A “Full Stop” in relation to what?

Planets move, as do stars & even galaxies.

The Universe itsself is expanding.

So, in relation to what are you “not moving”?

Stop and Stop! What is Stop?

Hmmm… Let’s define “Full Stop” as nothing detectable moving toward you and nothing moving away from you. Which would be kinda hard to do. :wink:

bones/Kinda hard? Dammit man, I’m a doctor not a magician!/bones

Wait a minute. You could stop everything from moving if you could simply stop time. I think you could probably do that fairly easily.

heh heh “come to a full stop” heh heh

Actually, Picard did that in one episode, except it was the South Pole. You could tell, because in the external shots of the Enterprise, it was hovering below the planet.

Actually, you don’t have to worry about that, because you have the “inertial dampers” - which afaik are extremely unlikely to exist in real life, ever.

Full stop relative to what?

Clearly, you could achieve a stationary position relative to a fixed position. That’s as good as it gets in this universe.

But “full stop” simply means that the engines are no longer propelling you forward. In space, that won’t do too much, though you would eventually slow down to having no motion relative to the limited molecules around you.

Full stop is relative to the standard motionless intragalactic or intergalactic (as applicable) reference frame as defined by reference frame subcommittee of the interstellar navigation standards committee, which reports to the interstellar council. It’s (roughly) the velocity at which a ship would have average speed of zero relative to nearby stellar bodies. I thought everyone knew that. :wink:

Given that all the nearby stellar bodies are themselves traveling in different directions, I find this dubious.

And everyone knows that the Subcommittee on Interstellar Navigation was disbanded after someone asked them to explain stardates and a galactic war broke out.

I assume you forgot to insert the :wink:

It’s helpful to remember that in space, nobody can make you skid. Translated, that means there is no friction in space so a spaceship keeps traveling in the same direction at the same velocity until it uses its thrusters or something external to the ship forces a change. I think some real asshole who stood on giants declared this a law. It’s also helpful to remember that you can turn completely around without changing direction, and there is no reason for a spaceship to ever have to bank like an F-16.

(It’s also also helpful to remember that Star Trek has as much to do with science as Jack Chick has to do with reality in general.)

You’re not averaging over enough stellar bodies.

The Space Shuttle just docked with the International Space Station just a week or so ago. That’s as “stopped” as my car is in my garage, considering the motion and rotation of Earth.