[FPSPACE] article on Brazil's space program, one more nit

Chris Jones clj@acme.com
28 Jun 2003 09:59:52 -0400


"David Anderman" <davida@cwo.com> writes:

> An interesting note: Brazil is talking about using Cyclone 4 for ISS
> re-supply. Aren't there severe penalties for launching to ISS from the
> Equator - wouldn't it be better to launch Cyclones from Baikonur for
> this purpose?

No, there's actually a small benefit to launching from the equator, from
earth's rotation.  Since you can theoretically launch into any
inclination from the equator (only range safety considerations would
limit you), there's no expensive plane change maneuver necessary, which
would be the case if you were going the other way (launching into an
equatorial orbit from Baikonur).

The penalty the shuttle pays for launching to ISS from KSC is a penalty
compared to what it could launch to an orbit with a lower inclination,
where it would launch more easterly and take more advantage of earth's
rotation.  For a given inclination, it doesn't matter a whole lot where
you launch from AS LONG AS you don't have to do a plane change, which
means as long as you launch from a latitude <= the orbital inclination.