# Space Part 1 -- Why does NASA launch spacecraft toward the East?

If the Earth (and thus your spaceship on its launchpad) is already turning at a thousand mph......launching eastwards wouldn't cause too much of a problem.

## Homework Statement

Okay...So why does NASA launch in the east. Is there an advantage in east from west?

## The Attempt at a Solution

Since this is your homework, what do you think?

I think its because that is the way the Earth rotates to, maybe to save fuel?

Go on...

As Dave said, follow this train of thought. HOW does it save fuel?

Because, the shuttle or whatever will be heading int the east to west direction making it easier to get to the locations faster?

What is the shuttles destination though? Not other places on earth. So...

no, I meant like, when they launch satellites or rovers onto other planets, they usually launch it east.

no, I meant like, when they launch satellites or rovers onto other planets, they usually launch it east.
As you suggested in post #3, it's to do with the way the Earth rotates.
When launching an object into space, what is the main challenge?
If you are on a train going at 90kph and throw a stone forwards at 30kph relative to you, how fast is the stone going?

haruspex said:
As you suggested in post #3, it's to do with the way the Earth rotates.
When launching an object into space, what is the main challenge?
If you are on a train going at 90kph and throw a stone forwards at 30kph relative to you, how fast is the stone going?
Thanks! I get it now...

no, I meant like, when they launch satellites or rovers onto other planets, they usually launch it east.
Yes. But before they head off into the outer solar system, where do they go? Where do ALL vessels launched from Earth go first?

DaveC426913 said:
Yes. But before they head off into the outer solar system, where do they go? Where do ALL vessels launched from Earth go first?
Tooooo the atmosphere?

Tooooo the atmosphere?
To orbit.

DaveC426913 said:
To orbit.
right...

right...
And what do you need a lot of in order to stay in orbit?

DaveC426913 said:
And what do you need a lot of in order to stay in orbit?
Gravity?

Gravity?
Wouldn't gravity would do the opposite of keeping them in orbit?

What keeps them up there despite gravity?

DaveC426913 said:
Wouldn't gravity would do the opposite of keeping them in orbit?

What keeps them up there despite gravity?
Their free fall?

Their free fall?
What is free fall? What is counteracting gravity?

Look at haruspex' post #9 for a hint.

DaveC426913 said:
What is free fall? What is counteracting gravity?

Look at haruspex' post #9 for a hint.
I'm lost...

DaveC426913 said:
What is free fall? What is counteracting gravity?

Look at haruspex' post #9 for a hint.
Momentum? Specifically Angular Momentum?