52

Logistic concerns tend to outweigh small performance differences. Courtesy of Uhoh in the question comments, the 7° difference in latitude is worth $$\left(\cos(24°) - \cos(31°)\right) \frac{ 2 \pi \times 6378137 \ \text{meters}} {86164 \ \text{seconds}} = 26\ \text{meters/second}$$ difference in surface rotation speed, about one-quarter of one percent of ...


40

That was the southernmost point in Japan (at the time) The answer to your question has its roots in history more so than it does in science. Tanegashima was chosen in 1966 and the space center completed construction in 1969. This was before Okinawa (which included the Yaeyama Islands) was returned to Japan, in 1972. Another potential site, the Ogasawara ...


36

Sea Dragon The very large rocket was probably Sea dragon and the advantages were more on allowing a massive vehicle to be built at all rather than inherent advantages in starting underwater. (image credits) Building the launch vehicle on a slip way and floating it to the launch site bypasses a number of size constraints in building and moving large ...


25

According to an article from the Lunar and Planetary Institute (archive.org link): As a result of the electrical disturbances experienced during the Apollo 12 launch, several experiments were performed prior to and during the launch of Apollo 13 to study certain aspects of launch-phase electrical phenomena. Measurements taken indicated a significant ...


21

Excess capacity was needed in the storage sphere to allow for multiple attempts in a launch campaign. Much of the propellant was recovered during a scrub but not all. The storage spheres were loaded from waves of tanker trucks and it was a lengthy process - weeks to several months. It would have been embarrassing to run out of propellant after a series of ...


20

The center of the Earth is, for any reasonable approximation, in one of the focus points of an elliptical orbit. For a circular orbit, there is only one focus point, so the center of the Earth is in the center of the orbit. The plane of the orbit thus would intersect both the center of the Earth as well as the launching site. If the launch site was on the ...


18

Why have two separate sites for launch and landing, instead of consolidating them at one site? The plan was to have one site for both launch and landing. The Challenger disaster resulted in a change of plans. Edwards AFB was one of the test locations of the Shuttle program. The test flights with the prototype Enterprise were performed here. But since ...


17

It was done horizontally, in a separate building called MIK-112 (MIK is translated as ‘assembly and testing building’) See more details and photos here: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/baikonur_energia_112.html


13

The short answer is that a spacecraft is attracted to the center point of the earth, not to the earth's rotational axis. [I]t would make sense to me that launching east would result in a 0° inclination with the orbital plane raised so it's parallel to the equator but above or below it. Here's one explanation of why that wouldn't happen that you might ...


12

"Buran" orbiters were assembled in Tushinskiy complex in Moscow (Тушинский авиастроительный завод). Than the orbiter articles were transported by VM-T airplane. The iconic An-225 was not ready in 1988. MIK-112 in Baikonur was used for preflight/postflight maintenance. ( From Russian wikipedia https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Энергия_—_Буран) Quote: ...


11

The reason why the launch sites are built inland goes back to the Cold War. Western commentators have expressed surprise at the selection of a launch site so far inland, in difficult terrain, with poor communication facilities in a relatively populated rural area. The Chinese subsequently explained that during the tense seventies, an inland site was ...


9

You might be thinking of the Sea Dragon project, although this never got past the conceptual / early planning stages. Some of the advantages of a sea launch are that you can be far away from habitation and the water can provide cooling and acoustic damping during launch. But the disadvantages are also serious. You are even more at the mercy of the weather ...


9

Early in the development of the Polaris missile system, there was a lot of work on launching a missile from underwater. Polaris was a nuclear deterrent to rapidly launch multiple missiles from a fully submerged submarine. Staying submerged until a boat-load of launches were complete was a key goal: the boat was to be very difficult to track and destroy ...


9

On the spectrum from "build a new one for every launch" to "nothing was damaged" the actual experience was "some repair and refurbishment needed". The Mobile Launch Platforms (MLPs) and the Launch Umbilical Towers that were mounted on them for Apollo survived the program and were re-built and reused for Shuttle. (For Apollo, the towers were mounted on the ...


8

Edwards already existed, so using that for landing saves you the cost of constructing something else. Moving the shuttle back to Florida after landing cost a lot of money and time. With sufficient flight rate, you recoup the cost of a closer landing facility. History of the Shuttle Landing Facility states Landing the orbiter at KSC’s Shuttle Landing ...


7

Earth's gravity pulls you towards the centre of the Earth, so if you're above Kennedy, that pull has a Southwards component, as well as the component towards the Earth's axis. So your path curves South, so that in the end the orbit spends equal amounts of time North and South of the equator, and the pulls in that direction balance out over time. All orbits ...


6

Apparently it is an overhead tank (OHT) associated with fire suppression system of Second Launch Pad in Sriharikota. Learned about this from a recent tender about upgrading fire suppression to meet safety requirements of Augmented Second Launch Pad project under which few new facilities will be added to SLP complex to serve future line of Kerolox based ...


6

Partial answer: I can identify the manager responsible for the decision, and the date, but not the reason why. LC-39 was the sole topic at a meeting of the Launch Operations Working Group on 18-19 July [1962] that brought together 113 representatives from LOD, MSFC, and the launch vehicle contractors: Boeing, North American, Douglas, and General Electric. ...


5

It stands for Temporary Flight Restriction. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporary_flight_restriction Presumably the TFR is in place for whatever SpaceX is doing and the radar will be utilized during that same event. So the two things are associated, but one is not because of the other.


5

This answer is largely speculative but based upon knowledge of similar systems. The Safir space launch vehicle may use hypergolic propellants. The launch site shown in the photograph has minimal permanent infrastructure. Hypergolic propellant storage facilities at Johnson Space Center and White Sands Test Facility have burner stacks to safely dispose of ...


5

1) Cannons don't fire projectiles above the propagation velocity of the propellant. That's nowhere near orbital velocity. 2) Orbital mechanics 101: Other than when conducting gravity maneuvers your orbit will include the point where your rocket shut down. For a cannon that's when it leaves the barrel--thus your payload comes back down after going ...


4

For shuttle, they didn't. At least not all of the consoles. Note the wood-covered consoles in the rear, they face the window. This is Firing Room 4 which controlled the last 20 or so shuttle launches. Source A view from one of the consoles in Firing Room 3 which also faced the windows. (Personal photo)


4

Probably due to population density further south. The Southern islands are more densely (pictured in the top left corner) are more densely populated than Tanegashima (bottom left, oblong shaped island)


3

Launching from international waters. In addition to the factors mentioned in other posts, there's an additional benefit from launching from the ocean: you can launch from international waters. This could be handy if you're launching a rocket that uses some form of material or process that is illegal or heavily regulated for civilian use in your home country. ...


3

Reductio ad absurdum If you could choose freely on which circle to orbit, the most convenient place to take off from would be the North pole. That would set the circle diameter to zero. You would then climb to whichever altitude you pleased and remain there, immobile in space, for as long as you wanted. How cool would that be? An attempt at analogy In ...


3

A TFR is a Temporary Flight Restriction. My best guess for why SpaceX would include this information in their filing is that the FCC requires that marine radar does not interfere with airplane operations, and what SpaceX is saying is that because of the fact that there are no airplane operations when the radar is transmitting, there is no further need to ...


2

Wallops Island was already an established flight test facility, and there has been a number of rocket launches, for instance the explorer series. It was also close to NASA's facility in Langley, Virginia, which is where many of the scientists and engineers were located at the time, the other main location was Huntsville, Alabama, which was not that far away ...


2

Reading a bit "between the lines" of a NASA history book, it seems that Wallops was already the main workspace / location for PARD (Pilotless Aircraft Research Division) , part of NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) . The PARD's experience at Wallops put the NACA in a very good position. Deriving accurate data using the rocket model ...


2

This let personnel observe the display screens shown at top in the cutaway diagram. Those displays mattered more than anything they could see through the windows.


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