Earlier this week, a Nasa mission boomed for the International Space Station (ISS) through a SpaceX Falcon 9 missile. The missile is capable of speeds of more than 39,000kmph approx., yet travelers require about 22 hours to move humanity’s home in space. So, why does it need so long to complete an average distance?
WHY CAN’T ROCKETS HEAD STRAIGHT UP TO THE ISS?
The traffic to space is growing rapidly. Thankfully, we have spacecraft that put us out of the earth’s atmosphere at supersonic speeds. The land speed is over 1,200kmph while the fastest jets can go up to 3,500kmph. Similarly, space-bound spacecraft travel at above 30,000kmph. But space travel time is not as straightforward as we may think. Because things in space are not stationary and are moving quite fast. For example, the Earth revolves around the Sun at a speed of about 108,000kmph.
HOW DO SPACECRAFT REACH IS?
To move to the ISS, a rocket has to move to the elevation first and then has to move into the orbit it is moving in. According to experts, given the circular direction it is moving around Earth, when the docking happens finally, it is a matter of the ISS grabbing the spacecraft and not really of the latter reaching the space laboratory.
IS THERE NO SIMPLER WAY TO REACH SPACE?
Recently, the Hohmann Transfer is the best way to objects in space. According to the US space agency (Nasa), a space elevator includes a long hanging cable from our planet’s surface into space with its center at geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) at a height of over 35,000km.
However, building one is not as simple as it seems. Since such cables would need to be ultra-strong and, stop it from dropping to Earth. It would need to be bound to a large counterbalance in space. While the concept of a space lift is more than a century old. Till that time, space travel will add on detailed predictions and deployment of heavy rockets consuming tons of fuel.