Around the Earth in a Rocket


The space shuttle was one of the most complex machines apart from the ISS (International Space Station) built by humanity. It was built in an era when the cold war at its peak and the one who makes it will win it silently.

The general rule of going into space is that you can’t arrive there in a straight line you have to follow the curvature of the earth along with obeying the laws of physics. This can be seen when the space shuttle starts its arrival into space from the launch pad you can see it tilting sideways after just 20 seconds in the older videos of space shuttle launching.


Theoretically, if you fire a bullet at exactly the north pole towards east the bullet will travel some distance in a straight line (obviously along the circumference of the Earth) before losing its momentum and dying down in the form of a projectile at the end. Similarly, if you fire it a little faster it will follow the curvature of the Earth before going down. If you keep on increasing the speed of the bullet it will not fall until it has enough momentum to follow the straight line and if that straight line reaches the south pole or half distance of the circumference of the earth you never fall and that speed is 29.78Km/s. So, technically you are falling but amazingly you are not. That’s the beauty of ROCKET SCIENCE.

When the Space Shuttle is well into its mission at around 2 min it starts to fall towards earth but eventually, it doesn’t because to do that you have to reach a certain speed to FALL BUT NEVER FALL and that speed is 29780 Km/h or 18508 miles/h. 90 minutes it takes for the shuttle to do a full rotation around the earth at that speed which equates to 16 sunlight and sunsets in a day.


Have you ever given a thought, why all the rockets are launched from the east coast of the USA?

Here’s why-

  1. The east coast has Atlantic ocean towards its east side which serves as a platform to absorb rocket failures if it were to happen, it keeps the debris of the falling rocket away from the population.
  1. Also, the east coast is the nearest to the equator of the Earth. Catch here is that earth is rotating at 1600 Km/h at its equator and the shuttle has to reach a speed of 29870 Km/h. When the shuttle starts its arrival into space following along the direction rotation of the Earth it gets a head start of 1600Km/h. If the shuttle were to go in the west direction opposing the rotation of the Earth it would need to gain that 1600Km/h first then achieve 29870Km/h on top of that. The only problem here is that the speed of the rotation decreases as we go towards the pole which somewhat creates a problem for the countries situated near to the poles.



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