Get into Orbit Without Lateral Acceleration

When I was about 6 years old, my dad explained to me that there was no possibility to shoot something right into orbit from the Earth’s surface. He said it was always necessary to accelerate sideways to reach orbit. At that time I did not really understand what he meant. However, later in physics class I did and I figured what he had told me was true. Now, 13 years later, I came up with a new thought: The Earth’s rotation adds lateral velocity to objects launched from its surface. This is also the reason why satellites, the ISS and pretty much every artificial object flying around Earth, orbits Earth counterclockwise and also, why most space flight organizations / companies launch their spacecrafts from locations as close to the equator as possible.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has its own space center in Guiana – close to the equator but far away from all the member states. Copyright: Guillaume Normand
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