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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Wallops Better Than Canaveral for ISS Missions Says SpaceX CEO

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk considers Wallops Island "arguably the best launch site in the country" for missions to the space station in a report published today in The Virginian Pilot.

The advantage is location, Musk told Jon Glass of The Virginian Pilot. First, rockets launched from the spaceport would arc over the ocean, limiting risks to populated areas. More important, Wallops Island's latitude is aligned to the space station's orbit, meaning it takes less fuel and expense to send a rocket there from the spaceport's pad.

"Wallops is better suited to service the space station than Cape Canaveral," Musk said. "I think Wallops is really a contender."


Rand Simberg said...

No, Wallops is not "aligned to the space station's orbit" (whatever that means). If by that you mean that you can get to ISS by launching due east, then it's not true, and Jon's analysis doesn't support the claim, since he was talking about orbits at about forty degrees, not fifty two degrees, which is where ISS is.

I don't understand this post at all. Launches "arc over the ocean" from the Cape as well. And the Cape provides a little more of a boost from the earth's rotation, improving performance. I don't know what Elon is saying that the advantage is here.

JackKennedy said...


I do not doubt your conclusions or statement of facts, I am a lawyer, no an engineer. I only bring note to the worthy words of Elon Musk and my knowledge of the the studies now underway to make the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport a resupply commercial space launch option in the near future. I share in those aspirations for numerous reasons and pointed to the article of Jon Glass. Jack

Hope you are well. And, I always appreciate your challenges to thought.