Are Rocket Jumps Or Double Jumps Actually Possible?

We do a lot of amazing if not unrealistic things in video games. Take rocket jumps and double jumps, for example.

Your immediate reaction might be "no, of course we can't rocket jump or double jump in real life" — because really, how would we be able to propel ourselves with a rocket? How would we jump twice?

Here's Vsauce3 getting into the nitty gritty of all of that, including what would be necessary to actually be able to do these things.

Now I must find a way to Titan. I must experience a double jump. It's actually possible, people!

Are Rocket Jumps Possible? [Vsauce3]


    how would we be able to propel ourselves with a rocket?

    Isn't that basically what a jetpack is?

    There was a plan by the United States at one point to have a nuclear explosion-powered spacecraft, which would drop nuclear bombs behind it, detonate them and then ride the blast wave to greater and greater acceleration. It was scrapped for oh, I don't know, a million reasons (radiation and not being able to find a material strong enough to withstand repeated nuclear explosions among them), but I think it was about as close to a serious 'rocket jump' mechanic in real life we've had so far.

      It was called the Orion Project. I don't think they ever envisaged it as being used for a ground-based ascent, more for use outside the atmosphere. It basically worked by having a space ship sit on huge shock absorbers attached to a 'pusher plate'. Small nukes would be dropped out the back of the pusher plate and ignited. The pusher plate would be forced away from the nukes, thus pushing the spaceship forward with the shock absorbers damping the 'jerk'. Pretty cool idea but scuttled by the UN treaty banning nukes in space.

      For a really cool inclusion of project Orion in a novel, check out the classic novel 'footfall' by Niven and Pournell.

      Last edited 16/03/13 9:21 am

    Maybe it's only because I've been studying physics for a few years but this seems like common sense.

    Is it? I'm not being pretentious, I really don't know.

    A rocket jump story without a quake Image? Standards are slipping.

    my cat double-jumped the other night when my wife scared the crap out of it.

    Mythbusters already essentially disproved this years ago when they tested the myth that a pilot falling from a plane at 1000 ft saved himself using the shockwave of an exploding bomb as a cushion. They didn't get an accurate result due to a malfunction in the fall, but the carnage was enough to prove that you might fly off the blast, but only in several more parts than when you started.

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