June 27, 2016
Boba Fett, the coolest Star Wars character never to do much, is known for two awesome and impossible gadgets: His jet pack and his wrist-mounted rocket launchers. The wrist rockets are already the bane of anyone trying to kill Fett in Battlefront, but could the things actually exist in real life? And, more importantly, how much would they cost?
One presumably bloodthirsty Quora user posed this question recently, and got a well-considered response from chemistry and physics teacher Dave Consiglio: It turns out we could build one right now. But there’s a catch: “The problem isn’t the rocket — it’s the upper arm. When this rocket is launched, it will burn the upper arm terribly. This is why shoulder rockets are used.”
The military’s shoulder rocket allows a massive jet of pure fire to pour out over a soldier’s back. Using the same tech, Fett would charbroil his forearms whenever he fired his wrist rockets. The shoulder-based version would cost you about $13K.
Still need specifically wrist-based rockets? Consiglio goes on:
“But the plans from Wookiepedia suggests that it is magnetically launched. This is possible, but not over such a small distance.
The problem here is that if you accelerated the rocket that quickly, it would tend to rip the launcher off of your arm (or your arm off of your body). Magnetic acceleration of this kind works best when the acceleration path is long, not short.
You can’t make a rocket go forward magnetically at several hundred miles per hour without also making your arm go backward at a few hundred miles per hour (they weigh similar amounts). Unless Newton’s 3rd law doesn’t exist in a galaxy far far away…”
Ripping arms off? Sounds like a Wookie who just lost at chess isn’t the only thing you need to worry about tearing away a limb or two. Of course, given how often people lose their hands in Star Wars, maybe Fett and his wrist rockets are just being proactive.
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