# Vertical Missile Launch: Will it Hit Its Target After 20 Minutes?

• darkar
In summary, if a missile is fired vertically and there is no resistance, it will hit the ground in the same location where it was fired from. This is due to the conservation of angular momentum and the fact that the Earth's rotation will cause the missile to return to the same spot after 20 minutes. However, if the missile is fired from a pole, it will land horizontally due to the Coriolis effect. The moment of inertia and initial trajectory also play a role in the missile's landing location.
darkar
Let say u can fire a missile vertically, and it will only return to ground after 20 mins, will the missile hit right on where it was fired?

P/s: Assuming there is no resistance.

If no wind resistance, yeah.

Sure will. And it'll land completely vertically too

If you fire it from one of the Poles, yes. Otherwise, no.

Coriolis...

Pete, can you explain your position?

The coriolis effect diminishes when neglecting wind resistance, and also according to this site is zero at the equator, not the poles:

The amount of deflection the air makes is directly related to both the speed at which the air is moving and its latitude. Therefore, slowly blowing winds will be deflected only a small amount, while stronger winds will be deflected more. Likewise, winds blowing closer to the poles will be deflected more than winds at the same speed closer to the equator. The Coriolis force is zero right at the equator.

http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/fw/crls.rxml

The angular momentum of the missile is conserved.
$$L=mr^2\omega$$.
As r increases, $$\omega$$ will become smaller.
The missile will land to the West of you., except at a pole, as Pete said.

Last edited:
Can you define your variables? mr^2 represents the moment of inertia which doesn't change during the course of flight, so I don't see why any of this should happen.

Also close your tex tags with a / not \

If you neglect air resistance, this can be seen as an orbital mechanics problem.

The missile's initial trajectory is the sum of it upward boost, plus its eastward velocity imparted by the rotation of the Earth.

The moment its rocket shuts off, it is in orbit about the Earth's centre of mass. The orbit is elliptical.

When it reaches the Earth's surface on the return part of its orbit, 20 minutes later, the Earth will have rotated by 5 degrees.

My r was the distance from the center of the Earth, which increases as the rocket goes up.

DaveC426913 said:
If you neglect air resistance, this can be seen as an orbital mechanics problem.

The missile's initial trajectory is the sum of it upward boost, plus its eastward velocity imparted by the rotation of the Earth.

The moment its rocket shuts off, it is in orbit about the Earth's centre of mass. The orbit is elliptical.

When it reaches the Earth's surface on the return part of its orbit, 20 minutes later, the Earth will have rotated by 5 degrees.

Since v < v_esc, it doesn't breach the atmosphere and it remains with the earth, its rotating along with it, isn't it? The same reason a helicopter doesn't land west of where it started while hovering in teh same place?

whozum said:
Since v < v_esc, it doesn't breach the atmosphere and it remains with the earth, its rotating along with it, isn't it? The same reason a helicopter doesn't land west of where it started while hovering in teh same place?
The initial post clearly indicates discounting air reisistance. This post ws a waste of time and space.

So your saying BECAUSE there's no air resistance the rocket will land to the west?

If the space is bothering you feel free to delete the post, but I'm sorry if I wasted 8 seconds of your life reading that ;)

Hi whozum,
Yes, that's right. In this case, air resistance (if the air is moving with Earth, ie no crosswind) helps to keep the rocket over the launch pad.

I'm a bit fuzzy on the details of Coriolis, but I think it works differently for North-South motion (zero at Equator, max at Poles) that for vertical motion (zero at poles, max at Equator).

## 1. Will the vertical missile launch be accurate enough to hit its target after 20 minutes?

The accuracy of a vertical missile launch depends on a variety of factors, including the type of missile, weather conditions, and the guidance system used. However, with advanced technology and precise targeting systems, it is highly likely that the missile will hit its intended target after 20 minutes.

## 2. How is the target selected for a vertical missile launch?

The target for a vertical missile launch is selected using precise calculations and intelligence data. This includes the location, size, and potential threats posed by the target. The target is then programmed into the missile's guidance system, which allows it to accurately track and hit the target.

## 3. What are the potential risks of a vertical missile launch?

Like any military operation, a vertical missile launch carries certain risks. These can include technical malfunctions, changes in weather conditions, and potential interference from enemy defenses. However, these risks are carefully assessed and mitigated before any launch takes place.

## 4. Can a vertical missile be redirected or aborted after launch?

Once a vertical missile is launched, it follows a programmed trajectory and cannot be redirected. However, in certain circumstances, the launch can be aborted before the missile reaches its target. This is usually done to prevent civilian casualties or avoid unintended consequences.

## 5. How does the vertical missile launch system ensure safety during and after the launch?

The safety of both military personnel and civilians is a top priority during a vertical missile launch. Strict protocols are followed to ensure that the launch is conducted safely, and all necessary safety measures are in place. After the launch, any remaining debris or potential hazards are carefully monitored and managed to ensure the safety of the surrounding area.

• Science Fiction and Fantasy Media
Replies
40
Views
4K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
23
Views
436
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
2
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
6
Views
2K
• Science Fiction and Fantasy Media
Replies
112
Views
15K
• Special and General Relativity
Replies
17
Views
1K
• General Discussion
Replies
11
Views
5K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
38
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
5K