Friday, January 4, 2008

faster (fast) air (+space) travel

i live in norway. when i want to fly to the west coast of the US i take a plane to london or amsterdam or copenhagen. from there it is usually a 7-9 hour flight (we'll say 8 hours, as an average) to washington.

according to this article:
satellites can orbit the earth in around 90-100 minutes

to orbit only half way around the earth (i assume that is a fair estimation from scandinavia to the US west coast. it is probably less since we fly over the top of the world, almost.) would only take 45-50 minutes.

it takes the space shuttle 8.5 minutes to reach orbital velocity. i assume this means to get into orbit around the earth. see:

according to this article:
re-entry takes about 70 minutes from orbit to touch down (landing).

8.5+45+70 == 123.5 minutes
as opposed to 8 hours*60 minutes == 480 minutes (not including the flight time from oslo to london/copenhagen/amsterdam which is about 120 minutes, so 600 minutes total)

any thoughts (besides the obvious, the cost of such travel =)?

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