If I could bring two of my best friends to a spaceport and take a rapid trip to a city hundreds of kilometers away (think half an hour to cross a continent), what would would be the vehicle's flight characteristics?

I am mainly asking about the top speed, maximum altitude, and flight time. Since there are passengers involved, I was also wondering about any G-forces they might encounter. For an example, what if I and my two space buds took such a rocket from Cape Canaveral to Columbia, SC?

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    $\begingroup$ Here's a start. $\endgroup$ – Digger Sep 20 '20 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ Take into account: flight prechecks, max 1L of Fluids in a Zipper bag, with maximal 100 ml of each fluid, ID checks etc..... At least 2h with no speed, alt=0 m ;-) $\endgroup$ – CallMeTom Sep 21 '20 at 6:16

800km is not very far:

entire Earth

Zooming in:

enter image description here

This is the kind of distance where both ballistics and aerodynamics agree that a ballistic trajectory is a good option.

A 800km ballistic trajectory reaches an altitude of more or less 200km, depending on the exact flight profile.

The free-fall arc is very close to 7 minutes, but since the rocket needs time both for acceleration and deceleration (and safe landing?), you have to add a couple of minutes to that.

The velocity at the lower end of such a ballistic arc is approximately 2,700m/s. The rocket needs "a couple of minutes" to clear the lower atmosphere, and for an acceleration period such as that, the G forces aren't any more severe that "a couple of Gs".

About half the flight would be in freefall.


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