Space-X's latest launch, of SAOCOM-1A, was a retrograde launch from Vandenberg, with a landing back at Landing Zone 4 - at Vandenberg.

A retrograde launch requires more energy (to counteract the Earth's rotation) but does it have any impact on the propellant requirements for the launch and return of the booster. Or for the booster, because it has to go out and return, does the effect from the Earth's rotation cancel out?

Tom Cross's pic retweeted by Elon Musk This pic of the launch and return taken by Tom Cross and tweeted by Elon Musk


It is likely to use a greater proportion of it's propellant for a RTLS than for the "usual" launch.

As a result of the extra delta v required for an orbit, the payload will be lighter than for an equivalent orbit heading East, so the first stage can reach a higher velocity before it needs to separate and boost back, but it will need a little more fuel to do so, as it has the same dry mass once separated.


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