Because I was bored I did the math.

Looking up some numbers for the velocity, mass, and pressure of a fart, and making some assumptions about the diameter of a human anus during farting, then running those numbers through the thrust equation…

(The shit I do to entertain you people is probably making the guy spying on my internet search history at Google dry-heave)

I calculated that a hearty fart would produce roughly 2 millinewtons of thrust.  Which is about the same thrust impulse as an electric ion thruster on a Cubesat.

So… technically… if an astronaut were to eat a filling meal of beer, beans, and sauerkraut, expose his ass to the vacuum of space, and let one rip, he could make course corrections in orbit, with thruster exhaust only slightly less toxic than traditional hydrazine based propulsion.

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By J. Kb

12 thoughts on “Friday Science Funny”
  1. you know, if there isn’t a ‘stupid science fact generator with a goofy pic of NDT’ website there should be.

    “Dog’s can’t look up. It’s a fact.” 🙂

  2. But if you fart in a space suit you get to breathe the recycled results until you can get out of the suit, worse than farting in an elevator.

  3. Given the relative orientation of the, um, nozzle, wouldn’t the vector be more “up” than “forward?”

    And, if your suit has an adapter to allow, ah, exhaust, could you feed in a little O2 and an ignition source to get a higher specific impulse?

    Welp, there goes the rest of my Friday…

  4. Hey, no fair comparing toxicity of exhaust to toxicity of propellant! Decomposition products of hydrazine don’t damage the delicate outer-space ecosystem nearly as badly as unreacted contaminated methane would!
    … Now we need a detailed analysis of “The Ballad of Transport 18”. Including environmental impact.

  5. (The shit I do to entertain you people is probably making the guy spying on my internet search history at Google dry-heave)

    You make that sound like it’s a bad thing….

  6. Like Nuke Road Warrior said, since no space suit exposes your a** to space (which would kill you eventually) the 2 mN does nothing.

  7. I’m lactose intolerant. Give me a Burger King cheeseburger. Space suit on, I die from the fart. Vectored outside as propellant, I hit ludicrous speed!!

  8. of course, the entire left colon would be expelled into space along with the gasses, like an inside out sausage casing..Just saying… from a left brain general surgeon.

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