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Thread: Er, General Edwards? I think Florida already done beat you

  1. #1
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    http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/0....ap/index.html
    Oklahoma dreams of a spaceport on the range
    May 6, 2002 Posted: 11:28 AM EDT (1528 GMT)

    OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (AP) -- Retired Air Force General Jay Edwards says the wide open spaces and sparse population of western Oklahoma are perfect for a planned spaceport.

    Edwards is executive director of the Oklahoma Space Industry Development Authority and is confident the state will be the first to launch a reusable space vehicle...
    Er...don't we already have a reusable space vehicle? Called the "shuttle"? So wouldn't Florida be the first state to launch a reusable space vehicle?

    What?

  2. #2
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    I believe they're thinking of the next generation of reusable spacecraft, the final design of which is now being debated.

    Isn't Oklahoma a little too far north to get maximum benefit from the Earth's rotation? I think southern Texas would be a much better choice. Lots of otherwise unproductive land down thataway, and it would really provide a boost to the border economy.

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    Although come to think about it, if the spacecraft is designed to take off from a runway and boost itself into orbit, then the rotation factor becomes moot.

    Or am I wrong there? Would there still be some rotational benefit involved?


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    Well i'd guess it would depend on the type of orbit trying to be achieved.. for ISS, Hubble missions i'd guess yes, it would still be an advantage (count the number of 'guesses' [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] )

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  5. #5
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    It should still be an advantage. Considering that you are moving faster the closer you get to the equator. Brazil is building a spaceport right on the equator. Also doesn't that water launch system, SeaLaunch or something lke that, go down to the equator to launch rockets?

    Kizarvexis

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    Maybe they mean the first state, as in state funded, judging by the name of the agency anyway. Since NASA is federal, Florida didnt tecnhically have anything to do with the shuttles.

    Maybe.


  7. #7
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    I think it is because it is the first state proposed spaceport.

    Southern Texas is probably a bad choice weather-wise, too many extremes and too many different types of bad weather to be useful most of the year. Think of all the cancelled shuttle flights in Florida because of winds.

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    As long as spacecraft are filled with many tons of highly explosive stuff, I can't imagine that
    any state (or neighbouring state) would allow a spaceport where a large part of the ascent trajectory would be over (their) land.
    Though there are areas of not so dense population in the US, I really can't imagine they would do it like the russian, who don't mind about crashing down their stuff somewhere in the middle of the steppe.
    Maybe if the land under the ascent trajectory is populated by lawyers, there would be a slight chance to get public support for such a plan...

  9. #9
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    On 2002-05-12 05:06, David Hall wrote:
    I think southern Texas would be a much better choice. Lots of otherwise unproductive land down thataway, and it would really provide a boost to the border economy.
    Not really, David. The Valley (of the Rio Grande, for those not up on southern Texas geography; in Texas, it's always just "the Valley" with required capital V) is prime citrus and other fruit/vegetable cropland (onions and tomatoes in addition to grapefruit--of which we provide the best-tasting variety grown in the US, bar none!). Geographically speaking, that's properly "the lower Rio Grande Valley," as the middle parts are all canyons and arroyos in the Big Bend area (the upper parts are in New Mexico and Colorado, and don't figure into this discussion). That land, while technically answering to your description as 'unproductive', is not exactly flat enough to turn into a working space port. And too far from anything useful. All water for the site would have to be pipelined in, f'rinstance (you don't really believe that there's water in the Rio itself, now do you? [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] not in west Texas, there ain't!).

    Now, the Panhandle has plenty of land that would be suitable, but then again that's the same geographic neighborhood as western Oklahoma anyway. And while not all of them are working on a steady basis, the shuttles and whatnots would still have to hop over the occasional oil derrick or pumpjack when landing. (Those are what west Texans use in place of trees, y'know.)

    The ("miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles": but that's west, not south, Texas) Curtmudgeon

  10. #10
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    On 2002-05-14 15:29, The Curtmudgeon wrote:
    On 2002-05-12 05:06, David Hall wrote:
    I think southern Texas would be a much better choice. Lots of otherwise unproductive land down thataway, and it would really provide a boost to the border economy.
    Not really, David. The Valley is prime citrus and other fruit/vegetable cropland...

    The ("miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles": but that's west, not south, Texas) Curtmudgeon
    Yup, the Valley is very productive. Besides, even if it weren't, the travel trailers the Snowbirds bring would clutter things up.

    Ah, but Kenedy County is flat and grows very little but grass, cactus and mesquite.
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  11. #11
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    On 2002-05-14 18:30, Jim wrote:
    Ah, but Kenedy County is flat and grows very little but grass, cactus and mesquite.
    Sounds like the perfect place to torch off and level for a space port, then. [img]/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    The (I had an argument with a mesquite tree once and have hated the whole species ever since) Curtmudgeon

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