Category: rocket

This Is How Mastering Dark Matter Could Take U…

This Is How Mastering Dark Matter Could Take Us To The Stars

“Because dark matter is everywhere, we wouldn’t even need to carry it with us as we traversed the Universe. As far as we understand it — and admittedly, we need to understand it a lot farther — dark matter could truly deliver our dream of the ultimate fuel. It’s abundant all throughout our galaxy and beyond; it should have a non-zero annihilation cross-section with itself; and when it does annihilate, it should produce energy with 100% efficiency.

Perhaps, then, most of us have been thinking about experiments seeking to directly detect dark matter all wrong. Yes, we want to know what makes up the Universe, and what the physical properties of its various abundant components truly are. But there’s a science-fiction dream that could come true if nature is kind to us: unlimited, free energy just waiting there for us to harness, no matter where in the galaxy we go.

Mastering dark matter is the endeavor that just might make it so.”

When we talk about our dreams of traveling to the stars, it normally involves a mythical, futuristic form of travel that goes beyond the known laws of physics. Why’s that? Because even if you increase the efficiency of your rocket fuel far beyond the limitations of any chemical-based reaction we know of, you’d still be limited in how far you could go by the mass of your spacecraft and the fuel you were able to take with you on board. You’d still have to accelerate (and decelerate) all the fuel you brought with you, until you ran out. If only there were a 100%-efficient fuel source that was ubiquitous all throughout the galaxy and beyond. 

There is: dark matter. Here’s why it’s so important to study, understand, and eventually, fulfill the dream of harnessing it!

Earth’s rotation and Space shuttle launches

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Last week we were talking about wind patterns and how they affect flight time. But it is also worth mentioning that Space shuttles are launched almost at all times from West to East to take advantage of the earth’s rotation


How does earth’s rotation affect shuttles ?

Earth is a spherical body rotating with some angular velocity. And as a result of this, the equator is rotating at a higher velocity than the poles. By launching a space shuttle from the equator you are getting a ‘speed boost’.  

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This means that if a shuttle is launched from the pole, it has to accelerate from 0 to 17000mph to reach orbital velocity.

But if a shuttle is launched from the equator, it only needs to accelerate from 1025 to 17000mph. (that 1025mph initial velocity is given by the earth free of charge)

This saves valuable amount of fuel required for propulsion

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Polar Orbits

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Not all rockets are launched from the west to east and the direction is determined by the purpose of its payload.

The satellites that are used for mapping for instance follow a Polar Orbit i.e they move from north to south or vice versa and therefore during launch they cannot take advantage of the earth’s rotation.

Florida or California

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Another characteristic of launching satellites is that the launching
stations are generally located near the coast just in
case of failure of the launch, the satellite falls in an uninhabited area.

NASA primarily uses Kennedy Space Center, Florida for east-west launches and Vandenberg Base California for polar orbits for the very same reason. ***

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Rocket science is just truly breathtaking.

* How fast are YOU spinning on Earth’s axis right now?

** Also check out about Retrograde motion

*** This statement holds true for most launches.