Why are there so many white men in space? [more inside]
In a discussion elsewhere on the internets a twist on a common science fictional transportation technology was proposed. A spaceship leaps from one point in space to another, but while it is instantaneous for the passengers, the transit actually takes some small amount of time longer than light would take to cover the distance (let's say the Planck time). Would the time delay prevent the violation of causality? It appears that everyone is staying in their light cones, what am I missing? [more inside]
Once we develop the technology of manned, long-term space travel (such as star trek, for example), how would our spaceships hulls and housing be protected from things such as solar wind, other "energy debris", and deterioration? [more inside]
Cosmos has me very intrigued. Assume I know less than a 5th grader. I am looking for: book recommendations for basic astronomy concepts; blogs; podcasts for beginners; good audio books; and documentaries. If you wanted to teach an adult about astronomy where would you start?
Why don't we have HD video of Earth rotating in space? You know, relatively close-up, as if the Enterprise had just dropped out of warp and the planet was being majestically introduced to the cinema audience. An extended, multiple pass/rotation exposure, so that it could be watched by appreciative viewers wanting to get a bit of perspective/peace. I imagine I would sit and gaze at this for extended periods. What are the technical limitations which have prevented this?
Why do we not launch rockets out of tubes? If the most expensive bits of launching a rocket are the first few feet off the ground, why don't we put the rockets into a tube to make launching more efficient? [more inside]
I've been told recently that collecting micrometeorites is as easy, basically, as placing a clean surface outside and picking through the debris you collect because thousands of tons of space dust and debris fall to Earth every day. That can't be all there is to it, can it? How do you know whether you're looking at Earth dust or space dust? [more inside]
What is the best book to introduce pre-teens to how science works in space? [more inside]
I'm stories of ways in which space programs from around the world have interacted with religion and ancient myth. [more inside]
If I've gotten the right impression, much of our currently visible universe will eventually be expanded away from us, never to be seen again. Do we already know how much and what parts of our present neighborhood we'll be left huddling with?
It's the future and humans live in space stations. What are some ways (real or fictional) that artificial gravity can be created so there will be no weightlessness? [more inside]
SF Filter: Where can I find more science fiction in the vein of Peter Watt's "The Island"? [more inside]
I was listening to this Fresh Air interview today and wondered how they know a meteorite is from Mars. [more inside]
I am interested in reading books on UFOs both pro and con. Not really much else to the question. Not so much on individual abduction bios but more on theories on why (or why not), conspiracies, debunkings, and so forth.
What distance could a ship circumnavigate, using theoretically proven technologies, by the end of the century, traveling as far into space as possible and still returning home in 900 years? [more inside]
What's the best literary equivalent of Alien/Aliens? [more inside]
How would you get through a black hole? [more inside]
To what extent would the lack of an atmosphere reduce the effectiveness of nuclear weapons?
Please-help-me-identify-a-book-filter. Trying to track down a young adults hardish sci-fi book from the mid 80s in the UK about a space medic in trouble. [more inside]
Help me find a cool screen saver that won't infect my computer. [more inside]
ScienceFictionBookFilter: What is the title of a science-fiction book about a cold, snowfilled planet being colonized by residents from Finland? Artificial suns and mystical powers involved... [more inside]
I'm reading Alastair Reynold's excellent Pushing Ice and I'd love to read more like it - help me Mefi! [more inside]
Would a bag collapse if I sucked the air out of it in outer space? [more inside]
This is a question about temporal mechanics for scifi readers. [more inside]
With the completion of the Star Wars sextology [sic], I was looking for recommendations of other science fiction/fantasy space operas. I just bought the Doc Smith's Lensman "prequel", Triplanetary, and his first Skylark book. Any other suggestions or comments on these (i.e. should I start with Galactic Patrol in the Lensman series? Read Skylark before Lensman)? Suggestions from across all media is welcome (Babylon 5, etc.).
What would happen if someone were to build a tunnel or tube into space? (Description inside...) [more inside]