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Launch rockets on mount everest

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Its pretty near the middle of the earth, and its the highest point in the earth. Nuff said.
mofosyne, Dec 24 2010


       I doubt this is worth the effort.   

       Everest is 8.8 km high; the lowest practical height for satellites to orbit is about 300km. So the additional elevation of Everest doesn't really make the launch very much easier, but it does make it a lot harder to get the rocket and its supporting gubbins to the launch pad.
Wrongfellow, Dec 24 2010

       "How did you get the rocket to the launch pad?" asked the enthusiastic reporter, still wet behind the ears.
"Rocket," answered the scientist as he turned and walked off into the snow.
st3f, Dec 24 2010

       How about launching them from the exact centre of the earth where there is no gravity? - or is there?
xenzag, Dec 24 2010

       How about space elevator on mount everest? any better?
mofosyne, Dec 24 2010

       How about Lunch rockets instead of "Lauch" rockets?
xenzag, Dec 24 2010

       Kilimanjaro or the Ecuadorian Andes.
nineteenthly, Dec 24 2010

       The best place is actually a mountain in South America the peak of which is 2km further from the centre of the earth than that of Everest. It is also considerably closer to the equator.   

       Anyway, this and variations have been suggested before.   

       My favourite method would be a track that gets the rocket up to a decent speed before ignition shortly before the summit.   

       However, it's still inferior to taking it up to altitude by plane.
marklar, Dec 24 2010

       [21], that is exactly what struck me about the title of this one. There is a difference between launching rockets ON and launching them FROM... isn't there? [ ]
Grogster, Dec 24 2010

       don't forget the rotation of the earth, which helps fling rockets into space, that's why nasa launches from florida, it takes less fuel than launching from russia.
metarinka, Dec 24 2010

       Problem is getting it up there. Launching from the top of Everest would shave a minute or two off your flight time to orbit so you have to look at whether or not it's easier to haul a rocket launch facility to the highest point on earth or just put a few more gallons of fuel or some extra solid rocket boosters on board to do the same job.   

       So is it worth all that trouble to shave a few percentage points off your distance to orbit? Probably not.   

       As marklar says, an air breating "first stage" in the form of an aircraft is probably the way to go if you want to save some bucks. Spaceship One used that method (although it's non-orbital) and the Pegasus system works real good. Then of course you need a pretty big plane to carry a million pound rocket into the upper atmosphere. The Antonov for instance would do it, but then you've got to build the thing structurally to be able to fly horizontally in or under the plane until launch and it's got to not fall apart when you drop it. Vertical launched rockets don't need to put too much structure into standing up to lateral loads because the stages are pretty much balanced one on top of another. When they launch, the air pressure pushes the top stages against the lower holding the whole thing together.   

       Point is, there's give and take with every option and when you balance it all out, just building a big enough rocket to be launched from someplace convienient usually turns out the be the way to go.   

       //How about launching them from the exact centre of the earth where there is no gravity? - or is there?//   

       Couple of problems with that, aside from the 5,000 degree temperature is that once you fly up to the Earth's surface the rocket's weight would progressively increase negating any benefit. But yes, if you dug a whole to the center of the earth, figured out a structure strong enough to hold it open against the 4,000 tons per cm or so of pressure, at the beginning of your flight the rocket would just be floating "weightless" in the middle of the Earth.   

       There's still gravity but the pull from the Earth on your rocket would be even on all sides making it float. But there's gravity everywhere. Even when astronauts are in orbit they're not in zero gravity, they're just flying fast enough in a continous circular "fall" that they never hit the ground.
doctorremulac3, Dec 24 2010


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