Launch To LEO

The launch loop can launch only to a fixed azimuth - the "compass bearing" of the orbital plane of the launch orbit. The loop as described here will have a near-equatorial azimuth, and launches to orbits near the equatorial plane.

Without a large "sideways" thrust at apogee, most LEO orbits, such as ISS or sun-synchronous, will not be directly accessible from a launch loop. A Kepler orbit starting at the loop, with with an apogee at 400 km ISS altitude, will be close to circular, which which means that the spacecraft will climb out slowly, lingering in the relatively denser air near 80 km altitude. The resulting exit drag will reduce velocity (launch a little faster), heat the vehicle nose, and add uncertainty to apogee altitude and arrival time.

An inclined launch to


LaunchToLEO (last edited 2020-12-18 10:41:11 by KeithLofstrom)