If I understand correctly, direction in space is all relative to the observer (north, south, east, and west). Anyway, suppose we're looking at the earth from a distance, where the north and south poles are located as on a globe. My question is: when we send probes and shuttles into space, we seem to be going sideways for travel, but do we ever launch straight up from either of the poles and continue our exploration in other directions? I do feel that I may not be understanding something, or missing something entirely. Any explanation or resources would be greatly appreciated.