At the end of March 2023, a storm system was moving from the Rocky Mountain states eastward into the Great Plains. One clue as to the severity of the convective storms to come to the tornado-prone Midwest was the very dry weather in New Mexico, indicated by very low dew point temperatures. This post explains why the dry air in New Mexico and adjacent areas in the US and Mexico is an essential component of the severe Continue reading “Very Low Dew Points in the Borderland Region”
Kinetic space launch refers to a launch in which the vehicle is imparted very high initial velocity and leaves the launch apparatus at maximum speed. The vehicle, at least initially, is a simple projectile.
The highest velocity occurs at exit where atmospheric pressure is highest. Therefore
The dynamic pressure on the vehicle is highest.
Atmospheric drag is highest.
Aero-thermal effects are highest.
Currently, no one pursuing kinetic launch systems expects to reach orbit directly with a kinetic system. Rather, a second stage rocket will be used to attain the final increment of orbital speed. Companies do, however, expect to exceed the Karman Line. The Karman Line is the most commonly used definition of the threshold of space. It is 100 km Continue reading “Kinetic Space Launch”