From reading the initial responses to the message below, I think there has been some misunderstanding. The question was whether some launches would be going in the direction of the west coast of Florida. As I read the question, the requirement is that the launch pass over the west coast of Florida, not that the launch be toward the west. The most efficient way to launch a payload into orbit is to launch it due east from the launch pad. This takes maximum advantage of the Earth's own linear rotational speed at the surface of the earth to achieve orbital velocity. (1,037 mph at sea level at the equator, 0 mph at the poles) A launch due east from any of the existing launch sites, with no other major directional changes, results in an orbital inclination that is equal to the latitude of the launch site. Kennedy Space Center is at 28.5 deg North so a launch due east from there will result in an an orbital inclination of 28.5 deg. A launch from Vandenberg AFB in California is not permitted due to safety constraints. The basic equation to compute orbital inclination based on the launch site location and the azimuth of the launch is: cos (inclination) = cos (latitude) x sin (launch azimuth) To avoid launching over populated areas, the minimum launch azimuth from Cape Kennedy is 35 deg and the maximum is 120 deg. The resulting orbit inclinations (approximate) are 57 deg and 39 deg, respectively. Note that the minimum orbital inclination is equal to the latitude of the launch site. A commercially owned launch site has been constructed on the east coast of Texas. A rocket launched from their could pass over the west coast of Florida during its launch phase but the rocket would be at a high altitude by then. It is possible that a launch from Russia, Japan, China or India could pass over the west coast of Florida on the first revolution but the payload would already be in at least low earth orbit by then and not in the launch phase. The bottom line is that there is very little chance that a "launch" would pass over the west coast of Florida. Jeff Barker firstname.lastname@example.org ______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________ Subject: Launches - directional Author: email@example.com at SMTPGATE Date: 3/26/96 8:23 PM >Message was resent -- Original recipients were: To: Seesat-L@iris01.plasma.mpe-garching.mpg.de-------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------- I am very interested in getting a schedule of the upcoming launches for the next year that might be going in the direction of the gulf (west) coast of Florida (imparticular over the Sarasota area) and what possible times they might be observed in that area. If you could send me that information, I would very much appreciate it. Thank you.