An elementary, but puzzling question

From: Roger Curry (rcurry@mediaone.net)
Date: Fri May 19 2000 - 08:19:06 PDT

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    From the point of view of a satellite, it is following a straight 
    path around the Earth, but from the point of view of the 
    ground, it crosses the equator twice during each orbit 
    and reaches a northern and southern latitude equal to the 
    angle it crosses the equator.
    
    When a rocket is launched from, say, KSC, is it programmed 
    to fly south of east so that it crosses the equator somewhere 
    over Africa if it is in a 28.5 deg. inclination orbit, or does it just 
    travel east and somehow the axial tilt of the Earth does the 
    job of making it cross the equator twice?  I have used a pencil 
    held just above a rotating globe at the latitude of KSC and 
    it remains at the same latitude all the way around.
    
    Thanks for any elucidation, and I hope the answer is not so 
    obvious that people will be saying, "Duh!".
    
    Clear skies.
    
    Roger in Jacksonville, FL.
    Nice view of the shuttle launch here this morning, BTW!
    
    
    
    
    ---------------
    Roger Curry
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Visit the NEFAS Web Site at www.nefas.org
    Roger's FTP site:  ftp://24.129.70.60
    
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