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Halo Reach, final mission firing the Mass Driver

OP SureCactus38419

So I have been thinking about how in the final mission of Halo Reach when you’re firing the mass driver at the covenant cruiser. The thing I’ve been thinking of is if you fire the mass driver wouldn’t the air resistance immediately stop the shot because of how fast it was? In space there’s no resistance so you can fire something with a speed that should really be unlimited in its potential. On earth it’s different, air resistance occurs when something is going so fast air can’t get out of the way and creates friction against an object, that’s what you see on ships going into reentry and why they start to burn. If a mass driver gun fires a round fast enough to hit space in under a second and instantly hit the ship, wouldn’t the air resistance stop it? This is an actual question, I was wondering if the air not being able to get out of the way fast enough would make it come to a complete stop or not.
Interesting thought no doubt, a possible explanation/theory could be that the air density and gravity is different on planet Reach, I have no idea on how any of that kind of stuff works though so I could be way off with what I'm saying.
Complete stop, no. But, air resistance does increase exponentially with an increase in speed. If I recall correctly, doubling the velocity of any given object will increase the drag force on it by 4 times assuming all other conditions remain constant; tripling velocity means a drag increase of 9 times; and so on.

So yes, in a more scientifically-accurate game, the mass driver’s projectile velocity would be lower than what it would be in space. Whether or not that velocity would be too low to damage one of those ships requires more data.

But, there are many gaps like this in every game and movie. The point is that any game developer should be able to suspend your disbelief. In this case, big gun + alien ships = boom. I personally never thought about this until you mentioned it either so I think Bungie managed to do a good job. Regardless, it is an interesting topic to discuss!

Edit: Came back to clarify that the mass driver projectile would eventually stop like any other object in atmosphere. But in the case of the final mission, I don’t think there was enough distance traveled where it would come to a dead stop.
In the end we all have to remember it's just a video game
tuhin94 wrote:
Complete stop, no. But, air resistance does increase exponentially with an increase in speed. If I recall correctly, doubling the velocity of any given object will increase the drag force on it by 4 times assuming all other conditions remain constant; tripling velocity means a drag increase of 9 times; and so on.

So yes, in a more scientifically-accurate game, the mass driver’s projectile velocity would be lower than what it would be in space. Whether or not that velocity would be too low to damage one of those ships requires more data.

But, there are many gaps like this in every game and movie. The point is that any game developer should be able to suspend your disbelief. In this case, big gun + alien ships = boom. I personally never thought about this until you mentioned it either so I think Bungie managed to do a good job. Regardless, it is an interesting topic to discuss!

Edit: Came back to clarify that the mass driver projectile would eventually stop like any other object in atmosphere. But in the case of the final mission, I don’t think there was enough distance traveled where it would come to a dead stop.
Ahh, in my head the image was like water, how at a fast speed it makes an object basically come to a complete stop because of the surface tension but at lower speeds allows objects to pass through without a problem. I know air isn’t water but the idea is sort of the same just isn’t as thick as water so easier for it to part ways. Thanks for answering! This was an actual thing that I’ve been wondering about. I figured it wouldn’t completely stop I just wondered how it would affect it.

One thought I had for terms of today is using a rail gun to fire barrels or something capable of reentry into space and use the correct math (NASA is great at math so I’m sure they could figure it out.) to get it to be just the right speed so it slows down right out of atmosphere and shoot it to the ISS for them to fill it with whatever materials they mine from asteroids or the moon and then have it reenter the atmosphere that way. It costs $10,000 per pound to send to space. This would save a lot of money I believe. Also you could use this to ship materials to space for the assembly of spacecraft since the hardest part of space is getting off planet to space. Another thought is only filling a shuttle with enough fuel to get to space and have it be fueled up there. That would save a lot of money as well. I love rail guns because they’re awesome. The Navy has a railgun that can fire 20,000 feet a second and that’s on a ship. If you do it on land there’s more potential.
KingJax03 wrote:
In the end we all have to remember it's just a video game
What I love about halo is basically all/most of the weapons and concepts are based on reality and modern day science. That’s pretty cool to me.
So I have been thinking about how in the final mission of Halo Reach when you’re firing the mass driver at the covenant cruiser. The thing I’ve been thinking of is if you fire the mass driver wouldn’t the air resistance immediately stop the shot because of how fast it was? In space there’s no resistance so you can fire something with a speed that should really be unlimited in its potential. On earth it’s different, air resistance occurs when something is going so fast air can’t get out of the way and creates friction against an object, that’s what you see on ships going into reentry and why they start to burn. If a mass driver gun fires a round fast enough to hit space in under a second and instantly hit the ship, wouldn’t the air resistance stop it? This is an actual question, I was wondering if the air not being able to get out of the way fast enough would make it come to a complete stop or not.
my only answer to this is elites are actually not smarter than humans and they never thought of doing that Kappa

But wow i also never thought of that, maybe im an elite @_@
Noble 6 ain't got time for no fancy physics lessons.