March 03, 2014

Why I hate the rocket equation

MIRI interview with me about long-range space colonization

Just after giving it, I noticed that the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation might be the favourite physics equation of Randall Munroe of XKCD - we have very divergent tastes.

I dislike the equation because it places a huge and cumbersome limit on space travel. I don't mind the lightspeed limit or the other relativistic annoyances, but the rocket equation really makes travel hard. So it is not an aesthetic problem, nor that it isn't neat as a physics result, but simply because it stops me from doing what I want. At least until I get a orbital elevator, good mass driver, beam propulsion and/or magsail.

Posted by Anders3 at March 3, 2014 01:52 AM