Wouldn't break through the atmosphere I think. Just bounce off otherwise.
Why do spacecraft have to re-enter at such high speed?
Terror Scrotum wrote
Because if they didn't, teflon would never have been invented and fried eggs would stick to frying pans
Count Steer wrote
Hah!Like they did before teflon was invented?Oh yus. People never fried eggs before man went to the moon.Or made custard.
Kebab The Cat wrote
To be in orbit, you have to travel at speed. Orbit is a permanent, balanced state of fall. For re-entry you slow down to the point that the forces don't balance, and gravity starts to win. At this point, you're still traveling hellish fast forwards, and you need to slow down a lot before you hit the planet. Hence the friction, heat shields, etc..I think to be in orbit around this planet, you need something like a minimum speed of 11000km/hr (though I might have forgotten a decimal point there somewhere)
It was a joke
I see. Never realised that speed was needed to remain in orbit. I always assumed it was purely a 'distance from Earth' thing only, if you see what I mean.Ta for that KTC.
Thats to do with a angle of re-entry, not speed. The answer to the question is here:google.com/answers/threadview?id=587531
Mr Rooty Tooty wrote
Doesn't the reusable spacecraft that Branson is sponsoring use a form of low speed drift reentry? It certainly doesn't need heat shielding.Not sure how high up it is (ie if it is in orbit or not). It's probably only in the upper atmosphere or sommat.
To slow it down enough to make it 'drop' as mentioned in the thread starter, would require a LOT of opposite thrust (possibly a dangerous amount in G forces, and once you've started the craft will begin to drop and the thrust engines may have less effect once you are out of the outer atmosphere), meaning you would need to burn a lot of fuel, which you'd have to carry through the launch and during the mission. Every gram of weight is crucial when it comes to launch and anything extra costs more and would lead to smaller payloads being taken up each mission, which may lead to the whole program being a waste of time.I think that sums it up...
Umm.. so how do they slow it down to get out of orbit?
Umm.. so how do they slow it down to get out of orbit? I Think they fire thrusters at the right time and slow it down a little bit.. gravity does the rest..
I might be wrong, but I believe the virgin ships are sub orbital and get no where near the speeds required to a) break the boundary of the upper atmosphere, b) require heat sheildingHowever I reserve the right to be totally wrong
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