4
$\begingroup$

I'm reading A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts (page 78), and I was confused about this passage:

As the fall of 1968 wore on, apprehension surfaced once more within NASA. Would the Soviets try to beat Apollo 8 to the moon? Due to the latitude of the Baikonor launch site in central Asia, their lunar launch window opened in early December -- well before the Amercans'.

What caused the launch window to be different between these two locations, and how was it related to latitude?

The lat/long of KSC: 28.5729° N, 80.6490° W

The lat/long of Baikonur launch site: 45.6232° N, 63.3140° E

$\endgroup$
3
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Could you please give a bit more context, maybe also the location in the book of the extract you've provided? Launchpad location affects launch windows in many ways, available azimuth angles, tracking requirements, preference to daytime launches, monthly launch windows and so on (some of which must be influenced by its latitude) , as this Apollo lunar landing launch window essay by Robin Wheeler explains in detail. $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2022 at 10:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It may be that Baikonur and Cape Canaveral were close enough to the plane of the Moon orbit at different times. Plane changes may need a lot of energy. The launch window is the time interval when the launch location is so close to the orbit plane that the necessary energy for plane change is well within the budget of propellants and velocities of the rocket. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Jun 13, 2022 at 11:47
  • $\begingroup$ This fact is actually mentioned - "The launch window to the Moon from Baikonur opened a few days earlier than from the Florida" idnes.cz/technet/vesmir/… $\endgroup$
    – A. Rumlin
    Jun 13, 2022 at 17:41

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.