No kind of space ship can making banking turns in space. When an airplane makes a banking turn, it does so by deflecting off a cushion of air. The air redirects the plane’s momentum in a new direction. In space, there is essentially no air, so space ships cannot make banking turns. In order for a space ship to turn, it has to fire a rocket sideways to reorient itself, than fire its main engines to begin traveling in this new direction. But because there is no air to redirect its momentum, a space ship still has momentum in the original direction. The result is a graceful, slow, arching turn. In order to get rid of its original momentum, a space ship would have to fire rockets in the opposite direction that it was originally traveling. The bottom line is that banking turns are not possible in space. Dogfights between enemy craft are only possible in the atmosphere – not in space. Hollywood tends to distort this principle of physics in order to make space battles more exciting, as well as to appeal to viewers who are accustomed to watching aerial dogfights that became the stuff of legends during World War II.
Submit a Science QuestionTo submit a question, email me:
Post CommentsTo share comments, join the discussion on our Facebook Page
- Is a quadruple rainbow possible?
- What makes a “fluorescent” highlighter marker so bright?
- Is it completely random whether a baby is a boy or a girl?
- Can the decay half-life of a radioactive material be changed?
- Why don’t our eyeballs fill up with water when we swim?
- How does water dowsing work?
- Why doesn’t the planet Uranus explode if it contains so much hydrogen and methane?
- Did cancer exist before man-made chemicals were around to create it?
- Why does the sun not run out of oxygen as it burns?
- What makes radioactive atoms get old so quickly and decay?
- When hang-drying clothes, which is faster, indoors or outdoors?
- How much money do I save by recharging my cell phone at work.
- When I sit by a campfire, how does its hot air heat me?
- Why do my fingers absorb water and become wrinkled?
- As light from a star spreads out and weakens, do gaps form between the photons?
- What is the the most harmful pseudo-science?
- Why are red, yellow, and blue the primary colors in painting but computer screens use red, green, and blue?
- Why is light pure energy?
- Is ionizing radiation always harmful?
- Why do scientists write so well?