Launch site requirements

From: Willie Koorts (wpk@saao.ac.za)
Date: Thu Jun 19 2003 - 04:11:35 EDT

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    Hi Folks
    
    Hope this is not too far OT but since the best expertise are here, I hope
    you will bear with me.
    
    I have been wondering about the requirements of the ideal launch site and
    how it compares with the present sites used by all the nations of the
    world.  How they weigh up and overcome the trade-offs for being in a less
    than ideal location, etc.  BTW, does anyone know of a good source, listing
    all the launch sites around the world and their locations?
    
    One of the obvious requirements of an ideal site it to be close to the
    equator but it seems like very few heavily used sites are actually close
    to the equator.  So, how much penalty (fuel-wise, weight-wise, money-wise,
    etc) is introduced by moving away from the equator?
    
    Other requirements that spring to mind are not to launch over land,
    getting the required inclination over sea and not be forced into
    retrograde (like Israel, I think).  Can anyone elaborate a bit more here?  
    What other requirements are important?  What about west-coast vs
    east-coast, any penalties/trade-offs here?
    
    Sorry for being OT, perhaps reply off-list if you think its not of general
    interest.
    
    Regards
    Willie
                           		 Willie Koorts
    
           Cape Town,  Observatory   33d 56' 03"S   18d 28' 36"E   GMT + 2h
           Wellington, South Africa  33d 38' 56"S   19d 00' 52"E   GMT + 2h
    
           For - Amateur Astronomy - Telescope Making - Satellite Tracking -
                       Visit  ....   http://www.saao.ac.za/~wpk/
    
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