I'm wondering exactly how I get home.
I undock and back away from temporary lodging, which, by the way, is
traveling about 17,500 mph and is about 220 miles above my
Do I fire my rockets to blast my way back down?
Does that take much fuel? How many horse power?
How long does it take?
I assume that you mean you are in the space shuttle orbiting the earth
and you have recently undocked from the space station?
No, you fire your rockets to slow down your forward velocity. Gravity
pulls you back down into the atmosphere and air friction slows you the
rest of the way down as you fall.
Hmmm, "much fuel"? Not very quantitative.
It doesn't take nearly as much fuel as getting up if that helps.
Again this is a very vague question. Calculate the energy necessary to
slow the space shuttle from 17,500 mph to zero. Add to this the
potential energy the space shuttle has because it is 220 miles above.
Divide this amount of energy by the time of decent and you will have
average horsepower. Please note that only a small amount of this
horsepower is provided by the space shuttle boosters.
I think Dean hit it right on the money. I would just like to add take
into account the drag coefficient for the earths atmosphere on re-entry
will exponentially increase for every mile of descent. Just factor this
into your equation and you should be fine.
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