It has always been a wonder to human beings how birds fly in the sky. Before the invention of airplanes, humans used to imitate birds to navigate the air. Yeah, birds’ flight made humans that much curious. Today, thankfully, with the help of modern science, we know how birds fly.
But, the question is, can birds fly in space? The short answer is no; they can’t. In space, birds can’t exert the same force as on earth, no matter how hard and fast they flap to take off. Even if they flap their wings in space, their action won’t meet the criteria of Newton’s 3rd law of motion.
So, why can’t they fly in space, and is it possible for them to fly inside a space station? In this article, we’re going to answer all these mind-bending questions. Would you like to know how birds mate? Here’s an in-depth article for you.
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Why Can’t Birds Fly in Space?
Although seeing birds flying in space can be a mesmerizing experience, in reality, we may never witness this miracle. Because space doesn’t have air, birds need to send a mass of air downward by flapping to fly.
So, even if they flap their wings in space, their action won’t meet the criteria of Newton’s 3rd law of motion. As a result, they won’t move forward, downward, or upward. Besides that, space’s temperature is extremely cold; birds will die in space in no time.
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Can A Bird Fly in Zero Gravity If Provided with Oxygen?
Birds’ flight has nothing to do with gravity. If there is air, birds can fly conveniently. As we know, their feathers catch air and push it downwards to help them fly.
Birds work with air to make a turn, accelerate and decelerate the flying speed, and beat the gravitational force that’s always working to pull them down. Considering this fact, we can say they will fly in zero gravity if there is air.
What Happens If A Bird Tries to Fly in Zero Gravity?
Zero gravity gives you a feeling of weightlessness, and the same goes for birds. If you have ever watched any clip of astronauts in space stations, you might have seen them floating around without losing their maneuvering capability.
Birds will also face this exact condition; in essence, they will have a little more advantage than humans when it is about moving in zero-g. They will fly more comfortably once they take off.
However, they need to flap more frequently than on earth to start flying in zero gravity. The rest of the flying tasks will be pretty effortless for them.
Can Birds Fly Inside A Space Station?
Yes, they can fly if the environment is airy. If you can take a bird in a space station, it will fly effortlessly compared to earth as it doesn’t need to burn additional energy to fight with gravitational pull while flying.
Now let’s talk a bit about how they will fly. They need to work a bit hard to start flying by flapping their wings rapidly at the beginning of a flight. And also, they will have to do the same to slow down.
But birds will glide smoothly, effortlessly, and probably, happily in the middle of the flight.
Can Birds Fly on the Moon?
No, birds can’t fly on the moon. As you know, birds require air and a dense atmosphere to generate lift with their wings. And none of these aforementioned compounds are present on the moon.
In essence, they will die within minutes due to suffocation. However, if somehow you can keep a bird in a breathing apparatus and place it in a low orbit around the moon, it will fly on the moon.
Speaking of the moon, here is another impressive question regarding birds and the moon. How does the Moon affect birds? According to some studies, lunar cycles play a vital role in changing birds’ hormone levels. During full moons, some bird hormones, such as melatonin and corticosterone, tend to be absent in birds.
Besides, some birds remain more active than usual during full moon nights to assess predation risk. Another significant factor regarding the moon and birds is that some migratory birds entirely depend on moonlight and the moon’s position to navigate routes at night. That’s how the moon affects birdies.
How High Can Birds Fly?
The highest flight height of birds as recorded to date is 37000 feet. And it is achieved by Ruppel’s griffon vulture. The next bird in this list is the bar-headed goose, which is seen flying over the Himalayas at nearly 28000 feet.
Aside from them, there are common cranes, whooper swan, and alpine chough, whose flight heights range from 26500 to 33000 feet.
Why Do Birds Need Gravity to Swallow Food?
Birds don’t boast mammals like mouths, neither do they have any teeth to chew food like us. Besides, the peristaltic movement is absent in birds.
For your information, this peristaltic movement is essential for sending foods in the uni-direction from mouth to stomach. So, having such inabilities, birds need to rely on gravity to swallow food.
That’s all about why birds can’t fly in space and every other related query you might be interested in knowing about. Anyway, here is a short recap to make all these facts easy to understand and memorize.
Birds’ wings work in the air, and without an airy environment, they can’t create any lift to fly or stay aloft. And we know space is a vacuum without any air. So, birds can’t fly in space; you can say the air is the only condition for birds to fly comfortably.
However, we hope you gained much knowledge today regarding birds’ flight in space. Thanks for your valuable time. If you would like to be connected with us, follow our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.