Rocket launch

Rocket launch

A rocket launch is the first phase of the flight of a rocket. For orbital spaceflights, or for launches into interplanetary space, rockets are launched from a launch pad, which is usually a fixed location on the ground but may also be on a floating platform such as the San Marco platform, or the Sea Launch launch vessel.

Launches of suborbital flights (including missile launches), can also be from:
*a missile silo
*a mobile launcher vehicle
*a submarine
*air launch:
**from a plane (e.g. Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne, Skybolt Ballistic Missile, X-15)
**from a balloon (Rockoon, da Vinci Project (under development))
*a surface ship (Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System)

Launches not into space can also be from:
*the shoulder

"Rocket launch technologies" generally refers to the entire set of systems needed to successfully launch a vehicle, not just the vehicle itself, but also the firing control systems, ground control station, launch pad, and tracking stations needed for a successful launch and/or recovery.

When launching a spacecraft to orbit, a "dogleg" is a guided, powered turn during ascent phase that causes a rocket's flight path to deviate from a "straight" path. A dogleg is necessary if the desired launch azimuth, to reach a desired orbital inclination, would take the ground track over land (or over a populated area, e.g. Russia usually does launch over land, but over unpopulated areas). Doglegs are undesirable due to extra onboard fuel required, causing heavier load, and a reduction of vehicle performance.

Commercial launches

Commercial launch service providers include:
*Boeing Launch Services Inc. (BLS) - Delta rocket
**Sea Launch - Zenit-3SL (Zenit rocket stages 1 and 2 with Energia Block DM-SL upper stage)
*EADS SPACE Transportation / Arianespace - Ariane rocket
*International Launch Services (ILS) [] - Proton rocket
*United Launch Alliance (ULA) - Delta IV And Atlas V
*Starsem - Soyuz launch vehicle

Viewing rocket launches

In the United States, dates for commercial and manned space launches are matters of public record, and are available months ahead of time. The exact dates of military launches remain confidential until only days before, but the months are public as well.

With the exception of the Space Shuttle, the visitor complex of the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida is open to the general public (with a nominal admission fee) for viewing rocket launches from the Space Center and from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Viewing Space Shuttle launches from the visitor center requires special reservations. The visitor center is generally 10 km (6 miles) from the launch pads. Special reservations for the Space Shuttle are required because it is a much more powerful vehicle than the expendable launch vehicles currently in use, as well as the possibility of a disaster that would result in immediate death for the astronauts, such as the explosion of "Challenger" at the launch of mission STS-51-L. Outside the center itself, the best launch viewing sites are along the beaches within the vicinity.

Launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California can best be seen from the cities of Santa Maria or Lompoc, or the surrounding beaches.

Launches by Russia from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan can best be viewed from the city of Baikonur.

Launches by the European Space Agency from Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana can best be viewed from Kourou or the surrounding beaches.

Launch vehicles

If a rocket is launched to deliver a payload from a planetary surface into space it is called a launch vehicle.

There are several broad categories that launch vehicles fall under, including:
* Expendable launch system
* Reusable launch system
* Single stage to orbit
* Two stage to orbit

For the launch vehicles currently in use for human spaceflight, see that article.

There were ca. 46 launches into space in 2004.

ee also

*launch mechanisms
*gravity drag
*Non-rocket spacelaunch‎
*list of rockets
*Orbital spaceflight
*Sub-orbital spaceflight

External links

* [ Scheduled and past launches, in principal all orbital launches ever]
* [ Scheduled and past launches, in principal all from 1999]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rocket launch site — A rocket launch site or launch complex is a facility at which rocket launches are conducted. It has usually one or more launch pads or suitable sites to mount a transportable launch pad. For launch vehicles with liquid propellant, suitable… …   Wikipedia

  • Keweenaw (Rocket launch site) — The Keweenaw rocket launch site was an isolated launch pad located in U.S. state of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. It was used between 1964 and 1971 for launching rockets for meteorological data collection. NASA along with the University of… …   Wikipedia

  • Launch — may refer to:In boating: *Launch (boat), a large motor boat *Motor Launch (ML), a small military vessel used by the Royal Navy *Ship naming and launching, when a ship or boat is dispatched from a slipway, prior to fitting out and commissioningIn… …   Wikipedia

  • Fort Churchill (rocket launch site) — Fort Churchill is a rocket launching complex located in Churchill, Manitoba at coord|58|44|03|N|93|49|13|W|. The site has been used on and off since the mid 1950s for sub orbital launches of various sounding rockets during several major… …   Wikipedia

  • Launch Complex 2 — may refer to: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Launch Complex 2, a deactivated US Air Force launch site Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 2, an active rocket launch site This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If …   Wikipedia

  • Rocket — This article is about vehicles powered by rocket engines. For other uses, see Rocket (disambiguation). A Soyuz U, at Baikonur Site 1/5 A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engi …   Wikipedia

  • Launch vehicle — Satellite launch vehicle redirects here. For the Indian rocket, see Satellite Launch Vehicle A Russian Soyuz lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan heading for the ISS In spaceflight, a launch vehicle or carrier rocket is a rocket… …   Wikipedia

  • Launch pad — A launch pad is the area and facilities where rockets or spacecrafts liftoff. A typical launch pad consists of the service and umbilical structures. The service structure provides an access platform to inspect the launch vehicle prior to launch.… …   Wikipedia

  • Rocket Mania! — Infobox VG title= Rocket Mania! caption= Screenshot from Rocket Mania developer= Nuclide Games publisher= PopCap Games distributor= Various designer= Luc Van den Borre series= engine= PopCap Games Framework version= 1.01 released= 1.0 (August 15 …   Wikipedia

  • Launch loop — A launch loop or Lofstrom loop is a design for a belt based maglev orbital launch system that would be around 2,000 km long and maintained at an altitude of up to 80 km (50 mi). A launch loop would be held up at this altitude by momentum of the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”