Launch permission

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When other countries are launching rockets into space do they have to get permission from USA for the launch? i.e. China, Iran, India, Japan, Do they just simply coordinate with the local airspace to avoid any conflict or do they actually have to attain a launch permission from a body in USA.
 

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  • #2
DaveC426913
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Why would they need permission from US specifically - as opposed to simply publicly alerting everyone? US doesn't own the sky. Each nation owns its own sky.

And rocket launches are far too rare to worry about collisions before orbit.
 
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And rocket launches are far too rare to worry about collisions before orbit.
Not counting ATC, of course. You can't fly your airplane over Cape Kennedy on launch days.
 
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  • #4
DaveC426913
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And rocket launches are far too rare to worry about collisions...
...with other rockets.

Each country handles its own airspace, so Japan, launching a rocket doesn't notify US about planes in its airspace. Thus, the only logical concern here is presumably between rockets that cross airspace.
 
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IMO, the "permission" issue should be more about cluttering up the popular orbits, not launch. But I don't think that the USA has any special standing in space. I'm not aware of anything that prevents launches, but there are some national rules (Like the FCC for USA communications satellites) and some UN treaties about space debris.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kessler_syndrome
https://www.nap.edu/read/4765/chapter/14
 
  • #6
anorlunda
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Regulated airspace in the USA extends up to FL 600 (60,000 feet or 18,000 meters). If an overflying rocket is higher than that I don't think they need permission.

Law about airspace derives from more ancient law of the sea. The reason for the old fashioned 3 mile limit for the sea boundary was that cannons could not fire more than 3 miles. So for airspace, the limit is how high you can shoot.

The SR-71 Blackbird flew at 29,000 meters, and mach 3.2. I can't find the source, but I recall that more than 1300 missiles were shot at the SR-71, but it was never hit once. So the SR-71 Blackbird did not ask anyone's permission to overfly.
 
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  • #7
DaveC426913
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So the SR-71 Blackbird did not ask anyone's permission to overfly.
Would kind of defeat the "spy" part of "spy plane". :wink:

"Can we fly over your airbases to reconn your military?"
"No."
"Dang."
 
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  • #8
anorlunda
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Would kind of defeat the "spy" part of "spy plane". :wink:
Their overflights were hardly secret. The enemy could see them fine on radar. Wikipedia says that despite the SR-71's reduce radar cross section, it was detectable by radar.

Then don't forget the 1300 missiles fired at it. How would they know when to fire the missiles if the flight was secret.

No. Instead of secrecy, I would say the SR-71 flew with impunity.
 
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  • #9
Vanadium 50
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No. Instead of secrecy, I would say the SR-71 flew with impunity.
Like the U-2 did. Until it didn't.
 
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  • #10
anorlunda
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But permission aside, there's a very strong reason to inform all other countries when you launch a peaceful rocket. Read about this incident, which some people claim is the closest we ever came to global thermonuclear war. The Norwegians did inform others in advance, but the message did not get to the critical parties.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_rocket_incident
 
  • #12
cjl
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Wikipedia says that despite the SR-71's reduce radar cross section, it was detectable by radar.
Sure. The point of the reduced cross section wasn't just so the enemy couldn't see it. The point was that, with the radar cross section of a small Cessna (despite actually being as long as a 737), and a flight speed of 2200mph, it'd only be a few minutes (at most) out by the time you detected it, giving you very little time to respond effectively before it streaked by overhead.
 
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