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

What would happen to a bullet fired in space?

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

Asked by: Anonymous

Advertisement

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.


Advertisement

Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.