
Launch Data & Flight Paths The Time Travelers Web Site! This is not just science fiction. By Richard Doran 

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How does a craft reach planetary orbit? Discover the intent behind Launch trajectories. I hope this will be general enough to be understood and detailed enough to be educational.
The information contained in this page is for estimating purposes only.
When you think you have the right stuff, enter this challenge. When you are finished designing the craft, Press Launch and see what happens.
Challenge: [Launch the Space Craft to an Orbit]
Launch to Orbit
The energy exchange between Kinetic and Potential energy where the total specific mechanical energy [E] remains constant. Potential Energy = [PE] = m g_{c} h / g_{c}
Kinetic Energy = [KE] = m v^{2} / 2 g_{c} (linear systems) = I w^{2} / 2 g_{c} (rotational systems)
g = 32.2 (ft / sec^{2}) or 9.8 (m / sec^{2})Gravitational acceleration. Use g_{c} typically for Earth, m = Mass in general usage, (lb_{m}), h = Height in feet
Rocket Flight Velocity
m_{r} = Rocket Mass Ratio (No units) – In multi stage rockets the mass ratio’s are equal.
m_{i} = Rocket Mass Initial, m_{f} = Rocket Mass Final. (matching units required)
v_{b} = Velocity at Burnout (ft/sec) or (m/sec), s_{i} = Fuel Specific Impulse (Sec) Liquid is about 250 sec., Solid is about 200 sec, g = 32.2 (ft / sec^{2}) or 9.8 (m / sec^{2}) Gravitational acceleration, ln = Log to the base e (2.71828), m_{r} = Rocket Mass Ratio (No units).
System 
Specific Impulse, s_{i} 
Ratio Thrust to Engine Wt. 
Liquid Propellant 
200300 
50 to 80 
HighEnergy Liquid Propellant 
340440 
50 to 80 
Nuclear Energy 
400 to 900 
50 to 80 
Free Radicals 
400 to 1,800 
50 to 80 
Solar Heat Transfer 
400 to 500 
0.05 
Ion 
5,000 to 20,000 
0.0005 
g = 32.2 (ft / sec^{2}) or 9.8 (m / sec^{2}) Gravitational acceleration, r_{e} = The radius of the Earth (3963 miles or 6377.8 km), r_{bo} = Rocket Burnout Radius, v_{b} = Velocity at Burnout (ft/sec) or (m/sec).
v_{f} = Final Velocity (ft / sec.) v_{e} = Discharge velocity of the propellant (ft / sec.) They really have books for this stuff! If you go online and use a search engine, you will find more specific information for this. Use 10,000 ft / sec unless you get a specific number from a book, ln = Log to the base e (2.71828), m_{r} = Rocket Mass Ratio (No units)
Satellite Flight Velocity, Period and Escape Velocity
g = 32.2 (ft / sec^{2}) or 9.8 (m / sec^{2}) Gravitational acceleration, r_{e} = The radius of the Earth (3963 miles or 6377.8 km), h = elevation above sea level in feet.
[2 (pi) (3963 + h miles)] / (v_{s} miles /hour) = 24 hours
v_{x} = Velocity of escape (Ft / sec), v_{s} = (Calculated above)
Pub. McGraw Hill, Author Tyler G. Hicks; Page 8.12  818; ISBN 007028735X
Pub. Professional Publications, Inc., Author Michael Lindeburg, P.E. Page 169 ISBN 0912045728
Caution: Worm Holes ahead
Home References History Rockets Craft Planets Orbits Aliens Future Support Time
Gravity Friction Launch Elliptical Orbit Circular Orbit Planet Assist