[ExI] Orbital launches from high altitudes/was Re: Inflatable tower could climb to the edge of space

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 10 22:08:50 UTC 2009

--- On Wed, 6/10/09, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> OK I had a chance to do a few BOTECs today and found some
> interesting stuff.
> I assumed a tower that must reach to an altitude of about
> 30km.  That way,
> the rocket nozzles can be optimized for vacuum, since the
> air density is
> about 1.4% the altitude at the deck, so it is close enough
> to a vacuum
> there.

I think one might trade off here by launching a probe to low orbit with more fuel for farther destinations.  The probe can then be more fully deployed and shaken down on orbit before sending off to its other destination.  This way you avoid things like what happened when Galileo's high gain antenna failed to deploy.  (Granted, simply by launching higher up, some of the restrictions on shape and size might be eased to avoid some of this.)




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