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Old 17th April 2019, 09:39 AM   #33
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18,756
Originally Posted by sts60 View Post
On a more specific note, I’ve personally commanded a spacecraft to “fire” its thruster...
I have similar personal experience.

It worked just fine, as we observed the results directly - including tracking the vehicle with our own (not just NASA’s) S-band antenna.
I have similar experience.

So, yes, I have direct personal experience that rockets work in a vacuum.
As do I, with rockets operating many thousands of kilometers from Earth, whose nominal thrust was reckoned using the standard equations we're debating, and whose resulting behavior matched exactly what Newtonian dynamics predicted should happen. This was for a commercial customer, where I was on the hook to achieve a contractually agreed-upon result. My observations have nothing to do with preserving some deep, dark NASA secret. They have everything to do with achieving a result that, had it failed, would have put hundreds of millions of dollars of insurance payouts at stake and invited scrutiny from the people eager not to write that check.
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