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If my goal with a particular rockoon platform is not for it to reach space on its own but rather reach the lower end of some kind of some kind of skyhook, would the baloon part of the rockoon be more useful than it is for an ordinary launch where the rockoon has to leave earth on its own, and would skyhooks make rockoons more viable in more circumstances than before?

(of course that would be difficult to have the rockoon be at the right place at the right time unless you are really good at predicting the weather or you have some means of steering the baloon bit in an unusually presice manner, what i was wondering was primarily if the main benefit to rockoons, the fact that you need not turn on the engines until after you have reached a certain height, is more useful in a situation where you need to travel less distance and if so how much)

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I would not say these are particularly complementary technologies. A skyhook rendezvous would require very precise timing and maneuvering: the vehicle has to be at the right place at the right time, moving at the right speed, with very little margin for error.

Balloons are not known for their precision of movement or adherence to schedules. Any vehicle launched from one would have a sizable amount of position and velocity error to correct, and if the balloon launch didn't proceed on schedule or if the wind patterns were a bit off, you would not be making the skyhook rendezvous.

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  • $\begingroup$ of course that would be difficult to have the rockoon be at the right place at the right time unless you are really good at predicting the weather, what i was wondering was primarily if the main benefit to rockoons, the fact that you need not turn on the engines until after you have reached a certain height, is more useful in a situation where you need to travel less distance and if so how much $\endgroup$ – stoby Mar 6 at 11:43
  • $\begingroup$ It's not especially helpful. You can use a rocket nozzle optimized for low pressure, but since you're only making a short hop, you're not gaining much over a nozzle optimized for near sea level. Launch at high altitude would be more help to a first stage which has a longer flight. $\endgroup$ – Christopher James Huff Mar 6 at 11:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Stoby I think airplanes like White Knight would be more useful. $\endgroup$ – SF. Mar 6 at 14:39

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