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What would happen to a bullet fired in space? © Getty Images

What would happen to a bullet fired in space?

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If you were to fire a gun in space, what would happen to the bullet?

Asked by: Anonymous

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At 9000km altitude, escape velocity is about 7.1km/s. A rifle's muzzle velocity is around 1km/s, so a bullet fired from a stationary position would either be caught in an orbit or eventually fall to Earth, depending on the direction of fire. Fired from orbit, the combined velocity might be enough to escape the Earth's gravity, putting the bullet in a larger elliptical orbit around the Sun.


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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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