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Thread: Space: Florida vs. Virginia vs. The World

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    Wink Space: Florida vs. Virginia vs. The World

    It's every state for itself in the space-launch business.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/28/tech/...fly/index.html

    Why Florida is still dominating the space launch game
    By Jackie Wattles, CNN Business
    Updated 8:31 PM ET, Thu February 28, 2019

    There are about two dozen launch sites along Florida's coast that have been abandoned for years. And the future of this area looked bleak when NASA's Space Shuttle program ended in 2011. But times are changing. Sleek, modern buildings are going up all over the Cape, the area on Florida's coastline east of Orlando that includes Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Cape has long been NASA's launch destination of choice, and it's hosted some of the most famous missions in US history dating back to the Apollo moon landings. The new structures brandish the names of new-age rocket companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin. Soon, even younger startups like Relativity Space and Firefly Aerospace will move in. It's a sign that even as the spaceflight industry undergoes drastic changes, Florida is still a top launch destination.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
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    What's the elevation of cape Canaveral and these other sites?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squink View Post
    What's the elevation of cape Canaveral and these other sites?
    Iím not sure but Cape Canaveral must be close to sea level. Why?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Squink View Post
    What's the elevation of cape Canaveral and these other sites?
    Or did you mean latitude?

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    Hopefully the "Why" and "latitude" questions are rhetorical.

    I suspect he's concerned about sea-level rise and vulnerability to related extreme weather events.
    Selden

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    No, not rhetorical, at least not from me. I was looking for a greater context. If the point is about sea level rise, then OK. But thatís not clear in the post.

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    All US launch sites are coastal so you can launch over water. Safer for the civilian population that way. The USSR and China put theirs inland presumably for security, leading to at least one major tragedy.
    I suppose launching from a higher altitude location would confer a minor benefit, but not worth the risk.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    I still miss White Sands.
    There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.
    ó Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi (1883)

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    No, not rhetorical, at least not from me. I was looking for a greater context. If the point is about sea level rise, then OK. But that’s not clear in the post.
    Exactly, same for me. I don't know how to categorize, but basically a courtesy question. I have been in situations where people answered a question I asked on the assumption I was asking it for some reason, but was actually asking for a different reason.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    All US launch sites are coastal so you can launch over water. Safer for the civilian population that way. The USSR and China put theirs inland presumably for security, leading to at least one major tragedy.
    I suppose launching from a higher altitude location would confer a minor benefit, but not worth the risk.
    I'm not an expert, but I think that ideally you either want to launch from an east coast location or a location that is in a desert (because the air is dry and you don't get storms that cancel launches). in the case of Russia I don't think they have any good launch site candidates on their east coast (the latitude). And in the case of China, they do have a launch site on Hainan island but the others are in deserts I think. Deserts are also nice because not many people live there, so in a sense it can be like an ocean.
    As above, so below

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    Plus, big plots of land are usually easier to get in a desert, and as mentioned, there is the security issue. It's easier to keep people out of a desert location than an ocean one.
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    My latitude comment is tied to taking advantage of the Earth's rotation as well as the orbital inclination that can be achieved at launch. Cape Canaveral is at latitude N28.627017 and the Earth spins at 914 mph along that parallel. But rockets which need higher orbital inclinations, such as polar orbits, benefit from launch sites with higher latitudes such as Vandenberg (N34.751099). And launches into polar orbits from Vandenberg only need to offset a small amount of the Earth's rotation. So orbital mechanics is a big reason - unmentioned in the article - why Cape Canaveral is well-suited to most launches.

    *Trivia: Jules Verne sited his giant moon cannon in Florida to take advantage of the Earth's rotation, although it was Tampa Town.

    From the Earth to the Moon:

    On the 20th of October, at a general meeting of the Gun Club, Barbicane produced a magnificent map of the United States. "Gentlemen," said he, in opening the discussion, "I presume that we are all agreed that this experiment cannot and ought not to be tried anywhere but within the limits of the soil of the Union. Now, by good fortune, certain frontiers of the United States extend downward as far as the 28th parallel of the north latitude. If you will cast your eye over this map, you will see that we have at our disposal the whole of the southern portion of Texas and Florida."

    It was finally agreed, then, that the Columbiad must be cast on the soil of either Texas or Florida. The result, however, of this decision was to create a rivalry entirely without precedent between the different towns of these two States.

    The 28th parallel, on reaching the American coast, traverses the peninsula of Florida, dividing it into two nearly equal portions. Then, plunging into the Gulf of Mexico, it subtends the arc formed by the coast of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana; then skirting Texas, off which it cuts an angle, it continues its course over Mexico, crosses the Sonora, Old California, and loses itself in the Pacific Ocean. It was, therefore, only those portions of Texas and Florida which were situated below this parallel which came within the prescribed conditions of latitude.

    Florida, in its southern part, reckons no cities of importance; it is simply studded with forts raised against the roving Indians. One solitary town, Tampa Town, was able to put in a claim in favor of its situation.
    *ETA: Actually it was to achieve a perpendicular launch:

    But the only zones of the globe in which the moon passes the zenith, that is, the point directly over the head of the spectator, are of necessity comprised between the twenty-eighth parallels and the equator. Hence the importance of the advice to try the experiment upon some point of that part of the globe, in order that the projectile might be discharged perpendicularly, and so the soonest escape the action of gravitation.
    Last edited by schlaugh; 2019-Mar-03 at 02:51 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    My latitude comment is tied to taking advantage of the Earth's rotation as well as the orbital inclination that can be achieved at launch.
    As was my comment that you want to launch from the east coast over the ocean rather than the west coast.


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    There is a new report on "Spaceports of the World (1957–2018)"

    http://www.leonarddavid.com/spacepor...ld-new-report/

    The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) has issued a new report: Spaceports of the World (1957–2018)

    Written by Thomas G. Roberts, program manager and research associate at the CSIS Aerospace Security Project, this report is accompanied by an interactive data repository.

    With the rate of space launches projected to grow exponentially in the coming years, spaceports will become an increasingly important to the global space industry.

    Which countries and private companies operate the world’s most active spaceports?
    I am because we are
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