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Originally posted by Mogget
The part about the dead cosmonaut on an interstellar trajectory is BS. It's hard enough to accelerate a relatively small unmanned probe to solar escape velocity, never mind a bulky manned spacecraft. The Voyager and Pioneer probes that are leaving the Solar System required gravity assists from the giant planets to gain the necessary kinetic energy (actually, Jupiter did the job on its own, but the planet's gravity was also used to direct the probes to their next targets).
In fact, the only spacecraft that has ever been accelerated to solar escape velocity by rocket propulsion alone is New Horizons, which is currently on its way to Pluto. That is only a tiny fraction of the mass of a manned spacecraft.
Originally posted by Essan
I would thing the most likely scenario would be for such a cosmonaut to be caught in Earth's gravitational pull and end his life as a very brief shooting star as he burns up in the atmosphere?