I have found this text in an article:

"The most recent test saw the missile explode about two or three minutes after launch. According to South Korean military experts, the missile reached an altitude three times higher than "stabilizing height, which means the chances that any internal mechanical failure caused the explosion were very low," the Korea Times reported."


What can this "stabilizing height" be?


1 Answer 1


In at least one instance, the "stabilizing height" is a reference to exhaust plume phenomena.

The rocket motor's exhaust would be emitted as a cloud at an extremely high temperature. This high temperature causes the cloud to rise, while local winds tend to move it along laterally. As the cloud cools, it stops rising, and the mechanical aspects of dispersion predominate. The altitude at which this occurs, referred to as the stabilization height, may vary greatly from one missile type to another based upon exhaust products, exhaust rate, and exhaust temperature. Additionally, stabilization height would vary from launch to launch due to changes in meteorological conditions.

(emphasis mine)


  • $\begingroup$ "...rocket motor's exhaust would be emitted as a cloud..." is imperfectly worded, but ya after a few secodns I suppose it slows down and turns into a "cloud". The source link does not work for me, returns Error 403 i.sstatic.net/UaHnH.png $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 5:29

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