What If There Was War In Space?

One day humanity will take to the stars, and just like it did in the sea and the air, it will bring its weapons with it. Though we can hope that the rise of mankind from the cradle of its infancy to the heavens above will be accompanied by a similar cultural enlightenment, it’s likely that humans will keep on shooting at each other no matter where they find themselves. But odds are war in space won’t look a thing like what you see on film and TV nowadays. Hello and welcome to another episode of The Infographics Show- today we’re taking a look at what war in space would look like in the future.

Most science fiction mirrors its wars along the lines of World War I and II naval battles, with large battleships squaring off against each other as smaller cruisers dart in and out of the fight to strike at targets of opportunity. From the rear, squadrons of fighters and bombers weave through the melee to deliver devastating blows at knife-fighting range. Yet space involves moving war from two dimensions to a third dimension mankind is largely unfamiliar with, and a place where physics will always dictate the winner. So what would a real space war look like versus a traditional science fiction one? Let’s take a look at weapons and defenses, ship types, and tactics.

Space-based weapon systems will be able to enjoy one advantage over planetary weapons: a lack of friction and gravity both. On earth, gravity pulls even the fastest bullet to the ground, and friction as it travels through the air starts slowing it down the moment it leaves the barrel. But in the almost perfect vacuum of space there is no friction to slow down a projectile, and unless fighting very near a supermassive source of gravity, there won’t be much to pull a projectile off its trajectory.

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