Throwing Stuff in Space


I hope you can help me.

You discuss what happens if you throw a ball on earth, vertical or horizontal, where it is obviously affected by gravity.

What would happen if there was no gravitational effect, for example, if you were able to throw a ball in space, would there be any effect on the individual throwing the ball ?

Also in this circumstance, would there be any difference the fact that it is in a vacuum. I.e. What would be the effect of throwing the same ball in a vacuum on earth ?

Please help.



The ball thrown horizontally on Earth follows a path determined by gravity and air resistance. If it were thrown in a vacuum on Earth it would still follow a curved path due to gravity alone. In deep space, far enough away from large objects like stars and planets that gravity may be neglected, a thrown ball will travel in a straight line and the person throwing the ball will also travel in a straight line in the opposite direction. The speed of the ball and the person after such a throw will depend on their mass. The lighter object moving faster.

This is discussed in detail in our on line course on physics.

Hope this helps.