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Ridiculous British moonshot question

  1. Jan 25, 2012 #1
    Got into a debate/conversation with a friend, about a theoretical British manned space programme to the moon
    She held the position that there was no suitable place in the UK or in one of our dependencies that you could launch manned conventional space craft from.
    (I had argued that Montserrat or the Ascension islands could be used.)

    She had thought that a ship could be used to carry a rocket from the UK to the equator and the spacecraft could be launched from it.
    (neither of us are studying physics at uni)

    I wondered wether that was possible, surely the thrust from a rocket capable of reaching the moon (either a Saturn V or a Soviet N1) would sink a floating launch platform?

    If this is so, how much force would be required from under the boat would be required to prevent it being pushed into the sea?

    What size and speed would the boat have to move at to be able to move a space craft and launch it (traveling from say Plymouth to the point the Prime Meridian crosses the equator in the Atlantic in 2 weeks)

    Thanks for humoring me!
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2012 #2


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    Perhaps the sea launch vehicle has holes in the bottom so the thrust goes through the platform as opposed onto the platform? Current sea launch platforms may not do this, but one for a larger rocket might. Wiki article on sea launch:

    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  4. Jan 25, 2012 #3
    Ah had not thought of that.
  5. Jan 25, 2012 #4

    Vanadium 50

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    Two words: Diego Garcia.
  6. Jan 25, 2012 #5
    I suppose stuff could be shipped to and assembled on Diego Garcia pretty easily.
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