Hypothetical Outer Space Question...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Team Jetfire, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    ...myth busters style.

    So I was having this conversation with kid that I work with.

    He said, with some unfound certainty, in an outer space environment you could easily kill another person by shooting them with a CO2 powered paintball gun loaded with a glass marble.

    These are the variable involved:

    - 2 people in space wearing appropriate space exploration suits, current standards.
    - Normal, high powered CO2 powered paint ball gun (top of the line)
    - Glass marble with the same diameter as a normal paintball.
    - the space environment would be the same as any normal space walk performed in earths orbit in the last decade.
    - the shot would be at point black range to the chest area and or the head area.

    My thoughts...

    Even if the gun would perform the same in orbit, the probability of death would be no more than on earth under the same circumstances.

    What does every one else think?
     
  2. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't think gravity and air (or lack of it) would be a big factor at point blank range.

    What, does your friend think people turn to jelly in outer space?
     
  3. Omnius

    Omnius Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, none of the parameters depend on gravity, so the outcome would be no different.
     
  4. Rodentus prime

    Rodentus prime Well-Known Member

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    A head shot probably would but I'm not so sure about the chest - those suits are very well padded, either way the recoil would send you spinning out of control backwards.
     
  5. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    Is he saying that the marble would penetrate the space suit?

    Also, there being no gravity in outer space and physics working the way they do, I hope he's tethered to some massive object when he fires something that he thinks would be strong enough to kill someone.
     
  6. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    For some reason he figures that the speed at which the marble is traveling would increase due to the speed of orbit...what he didn't realize is that the Humans are moving at the same speed so it is relative...

    also he is 14...that should sum up his mental ability (not a dig to 14 year olds, but you know...)

    Never though about the recoil effect on the shooter either...would that slow down the marble as it exited the barrel?
     
  7. ambushbug74

    ambushbug74 Stroke me, Stroke me! TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think you guys don't have enough work to do if a conversation like this came up. :) 
     
  8. Bryan

    Bryan ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    That's what I assumed. Seems like the question isn't really about space, but about the strength of a spacesuits.
     
  9. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    No, the speed would be the same, it's the whole action/reaction bit.

    Also, being 14 has nothing to do with it, I read science books for fun when I was 14. :D 
     
  10. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    what can I say it was a slow night....

    As for the basis of the argument...

    He started the conversation by saying "don't you hate people who will never agree with you, even if every one else agree's"

    Apparently one of his school chum's would not agree to the question at hand and I though the idea that it would not kill you had merit...
     
  11. Phy

    Phy I want... ROOM SERVICE!!

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    Actually, probability of death might be less likely than on Earth, because modern EVA suits seem to have hard armor on the torso, and clear plastic (not glass) for the helmet. I'm not going to hunt down numbers, so I'll ballpark it at about the strength of motorcycle crash gear, at minimum. My biggest worry would be about shattering the plastic of the helmet, but it is designed to be nominally armored against micrometeoroids - dust or sand-grain-sized rocks moving at orbital to interplanetary speed.

    Now, if your homicidal buddy fired his weapon in a manner that would put the glass pellet in an exact retrograde orbit, so that it would strike the unfortunate astronaut at twice orbital velocity, then maybe we'd have something.
     
  12. Random Autobot

    Random Autobot Soviet Kanukistani

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    The only danger to the guy being fired at is if the marble manages to tear a hole in the suit (unlikely) or smash the face mask ( a bit more likely). The guy firing however would find himself flying back, and out of control, if he wasn't securely fastened to something big.
     
  13. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    oh man, this type of discussions are great but you gotta push to the extreme man, like shark vs tiger.

    im just saying 2 guys in space suit and bb guns with marble bullets arent that far fetched.
     
  14. Random Autobot

    Random Autobot Soviet Kanukistani

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    So you'd rather have a tiger and a shark in spacesuits firing bb guns at each other?

    Actually, that does sound pretty cool.
     
  15. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    I heard that the origional story for Star Wars EP 1 was supposed to be like that...
     
  16. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    Only with musical numbers.
     

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