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Answered 2009-06-09 14:40:28

All chemical explosives that work on Earth will work in space. Here's why. Chemical explosives are just things that burn, but burn very fast. In fact, they have to burn so fast that they cannot rely on the air to get their supply of oxygen. This means that they have to supply their own oxidizing agent, so that they can burn fast enough to be an explosion. For gunpowder this oxidizing agent is saltpetre, for example. Because explosives have their own oxidizing agent built in they will explode even in the absence of air - for instance under water or in deep space. There also won't be any *bang*. As there is vacuum in space, sound can't travel in space. Other Contributors said: * I suppose the question is really asking can there be explosions in space resembling those in the movies. For the most part, no. Let's take visual resemblance. In movie explosions, the expanding hot gas and smoke interact with the atmosphere, briefly producing roiling cloud-like shapes. In space there is practically no atmosphere, so explosion products would simply radiate straight out - an effect that I've never seen in a movie. (A good cinematographer will film a 'space explosion' from above, so we don't notice the debris falling in Earth's gravity.)

* Auditory resemblance is also an issue. Most movies play an explosive sound. But in space there is no gas to transmit sound from the explosion to the observer, so it would appear to be silent. * I've seen several movie explosions generate a ring-shaped shock wave, as if they occurred on a liquid surface. Of course this would not happen with an exploding spaceship (but on a much larger scale, exploding stars can create rings because of their magnetic fields). So, while explosions of spaceships or weapons in space are certainly possible, movies don't seem to simulate them properly.

== == * Yes, provided there is an oxygen source. A spaceship with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen will blow up quite well in the vacuum of space. Chemical explosives will also explode in space since they function by breaking weakly bonded chemical components; no oxygen is necessary. Nuclear explosions can of course occur in space, too. The United States military in the 60's performed a series of nuke tests in outer space, and found out what EMP can do, when they briefly wiped out Hawaii's electrical grid for a few hours. * The above is all accurate, however an explosion would have no sound (or what sound did occur from material from the explosion hitting your ship would sound different and come later) and a nuclear explosion would essentially be a "light-bomb" and not have the violence of a nuclear bomb going off in the atmosphere which is caused by the violent propulsion of matter outward by radiation. A sufficiently armored ship or station, shuttle, pod etc should be able to withstand a close nuclear explosion.

* If we follow the fact that space is a vacuum any explosion in space would give off some form of light and a varied E.M. pulse. There would be no sound because the atmosphere isn't conducive to it i.e. there is no oxygen for sound waves to travel through, or vibrate off of, and with no oxygen to feed fires they would die out immediately. * basically, no. You need oxygen to produce fires and explosions. that's why Star Wars is a lot of crap, you cant hear anything in space either, space pretty much shows how important oxygen is, and why we shouldn't be polluting it * Things can explode if there is energy to support the explosion inside the vacuum. Fire cant happen though. Oxygen is needed. But for movies sake, how are you gonna feel about something just shattering without anything visual.


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