# How do I gethome?

• posted on August 7, 2005, 7:14 pm
Ok, 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 destination.
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?
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• posted on August 7, 2005, 12:42 pm
Sherman wrote:

-3
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• posted on August 7, 2005, 1:40 pm
Sherman wrote:

I assume that you mean you are in the space shuttle orbiting the earth and you have recently undocked from the space station?

Yes.
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.
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• posted on August 7, 2005, 11:46 pm
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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• posted on August 8, 2005, 7:41 pm
Also, be sure to remember one key fact: The moon is 1/6 the size of the earth.....yet farther away.
:B

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• posted on August 9, 2005, 12:42 pm
I see the drag coefficient formula worked. Good Job! Welcome Home!
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• posted on August 7, 2005, 3:32 pm

Not REALLY home repair related, but you can ask the experts here:
http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/shuttle/reference/faq/
Steve Huntsville, AL
Yes...I am a rocket scientist - but for the other kind that go BOOM on purpose!
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• posted on August 7, 2005, 7:53 pm

Whatever you do, please slather some barbecue sauce on yourself first.
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• posted on August 9, 2005, 11:53 pm
Thanks guys.
wrote:

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• posted on August 10, 2005, 8:13 am
Just in case, here's something for your next trip:
http://www.columbiassacrifice.com/subsections_techinfo/Eqn-A1_reentry_param.htm