Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsAstronomy & Space · 2 months ago

Do Space Station in deep space crash?  ?

Or can they just hang there without needing a motor?  Voyager is out there since 1977 and didn't crash. How is this possible? 

6 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    Newton's laws of motion note that an object will continue at the same velocity in a straight line unless a force acts upon it, one of which is the force of gravity, hence orbits.  Because we live in a highly atypical environment where friction and drag are major factors and exert forces on all moving objects in the vicinity, we have an intuitive understanding of movement which makes us think that it can only continue with constant input of some kind of propulsive force.  In practically the whole of the Universe, this is not the case.

  • 2 months ago

    There is nothing out there for Voager to crash into. It would be the same with a station, but how will one keep it supplied ?

  • 2 months ago

    No. They would either be:

    In orbit around a planet - like earth satellites, the space station etc.

    They are not hanging, they are moving extremely fast, continuously falling but, for one way of looking at it, in two directions at the same time, so they fall "around" the earth rather than to it.

    Or they are on a ballistic trajectory - accelerated fast enough to start with so they can keep coasting.

    That's basically what Voyager is on, it's onboard engines are only used rarely to give it a "nudge" to keep it on the correct course.

    If the speed is high enough to start with, so gravity weakens with the distance the object travels _faster_ that the object slows down (so it will not eventually be pulled back), that is "Escape velocity".

    I think Voyager also used "slingshot" maneuvers, where it's course was set near enough a planet to pull it along and accelerate it on a new course, but not capture it.

    Or, for possible future space stations, they could be located in a "Lagrange point" of a system.

    That's a place in or near the orbit of eg. a moon around a planet, geometrically related to the moon and planet, where an object can be placed and not drift away; a gravitationally stable position. 

    There are five in total.

    The simplest ones to explain are in exactly the same orbit as the moon, but either directly opposite it at the other side of the planet, or in the same orbit and 60 degrees ahead or behind, so the object is the same distance from the moon and the planet.

    There are two others in the line through the moon from the planet.

  • Robert
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    The space station doesn't crash because it is held in position by the Earth's and Moon's gravity.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • KennyB
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Stations would need maneuvering jets - motors.  Voyager didn't crash because they planned its' flight path.

  • 2 months ago

    Voyager is not a space station it is a probe that is moving.  It didn't crash because there is nothing in its path to crash into.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.