Re: Launch Rails..Was:Re: Orbital Towers.

From: Amara Graps (
Date: Fri Apr 21 2000 - 11:55:52 MDT

From: Adrian Tymes <>, Thu, 20 Apr 2000

>Too bad one can't just use this to get a craft up to the Van Allen belt,
>where one might economically be able to use magnets to secure the rest
>of orbital velocity. (Or am I wrong, and VAbelt's bottom's altitude is
>significantly less than LEO altitude?)

No, it is just the opposite.

The Low-Earth Orbits (say up to 500 km Altitude) are signficantly
lower than the Van Allen belts. That's why manned flights are
limited to altitudes less than 550 km (I just learned that 1 nautical
mile = 1852 meters, more strange units for us astronomers!)

The Van Allen belts (there are more than one) are within the
Earth's plasmasphere, but I'm having trouble finding numbers for
min-max ranges.

I know that 2500 km altitude is an especially severe radiation region
for satellites, but I believe that the belts extend out to about 6000
km altitude. (Note for reference: Geostationary orbit is at 6.6 R_Earth,
which is at 35,712 km altitude)


Amara Graps email:
Computational Physics vita: finger
Multiplex Answers URL:
"It works better if you plug it in." -- Sattinger's Law

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