AskUs: Do rockets take advantage of the momentum from earth’s spin and orbit?

June 16, 2016
Comments (1)
  1. Angry about Science says:

    “So the ISS is where it is right now precisely because the Earth gives you momentum, but the Russians /couldn’t/ take advantage of that.”

    Ok this is what I hate the most: Saying America’s #1 and the coolest kid when it comes to space travel. It’s bull, and shows a fundamental misunderstanding between political boundaries and scientific ones.
    First, it’s not “Oh the Russians are so stupid they can’t even use earth’s momentum like us!” If you know what a globe is or have a prefrontal cortex in your head you know that Russia is darn far north. Russia does its launching from Kazakhstan, which is as far south as they could go even when it was the cold war and they had half of Asia. Here’s where it gets interesting: Both America and Russia are on the northern hemisphere. Orbits have to be complete circles, and can’t bend. So if there were to be a space station merely accessible by the other guys on the other side of the world to both them and us, we’d have to cut our differences and play fair. Besides, Russia started the station and without cooperation there’d be less stuff to allow us to get to mars via station. Not only that, but even now it’s easier doing it stationless. A rocket just gets up and goes, no need to dock or refuel, and even if it did we might as well use new almost-warp drives which soon won’t need gas.

    Second part: Russia is and has been cooler than us at keeping its rockets up. A bigger rocket is nothing if you can’t fund it. Guess who doesn’t have a space shuttle? Us. Guess who doesn’t even need one? The Russians. And the world rotates, you know. It’s not like it’s forever stuck in one place. Station may be over Hawaii one day and Arizona 6 hours later. It’s a matter of getting it to sync just right.

    Also, propositions for space stations never stay the same. Back when america first was about to get a space station they had a bunch of guys make all kinds of proposals but none satisfied the admins so they were all canned. Then in the 80’s there was this thing like the ISS but just american, called Space station Freedom. It turns out it’s hard to fund a football field of metal in space by yourself, which is why it’s called the “Paper station,” having never existed past blueprints.

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