I was looking at a map of historic hurricane travel the other day and noticed that South America doesn't really get them. Florida gets a lot of hurricanes. Texas gets them too. It also occurred to me that Florida gets a lot of thunderstorms. Using weather patterns as a primary criteria, would South America be an ideal place to launch rockets?

New contributor
takintoolong is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.

Bad weather much milder than hurricanes and thunderstorms can still stop a launch. As described in this answer and probably several others, even a bit of lightning in the distance can stop a launch, as well as a bit of wind on the ground, or stronger winds at higher altitudes. Even something simple like visibility is discussed in this answer and probably others as well.

From this answer I received a link to the image below. There's no info on wind, but clear days (meaning no storms at least) are maximum on the west coast, which may offer some limited opportunities for polar launches but no over-the-ocean prograde (eastward) launches to modest inclinations.

The East coast has plenty of places for both eastward (low inclination) and southerly launches (polar) so yes, I think you might find good launch sites there, but you'll need to find a location with plenty of low wind days.

Then you will have to build the infrastructure for fueling, and either transporting or building the rockets locally.

enter image description here

Source: ESA (from here)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There are some nice green and blue spots in South America $\endgroup$ – takintoolong Jan 12 at 4:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distribution_of_lightning shows some coastal areas with low lightning occurrences. $\endgroup$ – takintoolong Jan 12 at 4:39
  • $\begingroup$ @takintoolong yes indeed. Lightning and thunderstorms are probably fairly frequent in Florida, where there's obviously quite an active launch schedule. It's not a deal-breaker, but simply goes into the overall evaluation. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 12 at 4:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I know it is not a deal breaker. Florida being a peninsula is also an advantage. My question is IF we use weather as a primary factor, does the weather in South America have advantages over Florida weather. In other words...would you prefer the weather in South America somewhere vs. hurricanes and thunderstorms. The more I look at it Natal and Recife in Brazil seem to have some pretty good weather patterns. $\endgroup$ – takintoolong Jan 12 at 4:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ the biggest launch site in South America is Kourou, French Guyana, and that looks to be in a red zone. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Jan 12 at 8:16

Your Answer

takintoolong is a new contributor. Be nice, and check out our Code of Conduct.

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.