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

  1. Jan 14, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

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


    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2015 #2

    DaveC426913

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    Since this is your homework, what do you think?
     
  4. Jan 14, 2015 #3
    I think its because that is the way the earth rotates to, maybe to save fuel?
     
  5. Jan 14, 2015 #4

    DaveC426913

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    Go on...
     
  6. Jan 14, 2015 #5

    phinds

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    As Dave said, follow this train of thought. HOW does it save fuel?
     
  7. Jan 14, 2015 #6
    Because, the shuttle or whatever will be heading int the east to west direction making it easier to get to the locations faster?
     
  8. Jan 15, 2015 #7
    What is the shuttles destination though? Not other places on earth. So...
     
  9. Jan 24, 2015 #8
    no, I meant like, when they launch satellites or rovers onto other planets, they usually launch it east.
     
  10. Jan 24, 2015 #9

    haruspex

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    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?
     
  11. Jan 24, 2015 #10
    Thanks! I get it now...
     
  12. Jan 24, 2015 #11

    DaveC426913

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    Yes. But before they head off into the outer solar system, where do they go? Where do ALL vessels launched from Earth go first?
     
  13. Jan 24, 2015 #12
    Tooooo the atmosphere?
     
  14. Jan 24, 2015 #13

    DaveC426913

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    To orbit.
     
  15. Jan 24, 2015 #14
    right...
     
  16. Jan 24, 2015 #15

    DaveC426913

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    And what do you need a lot of in order to stay in orbit?
     
  17. Jan 24, 2015 #16
    Gravity?
     
  18. Jan 24, 2015 #17

    DaveC426913

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

    What keeps them up there despite gravity?
     
  19. Jan 24, 2015 #18
    Their free fall?
     
  20. Jan 24, 2015 #19

    DaveC426913

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    What is free fall? What is counteracting gravity?

    Look at haruspex' post #9 for a hint.
     
  21. Jan 24, 2015 #20
    I'm lost...
     
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