Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 10 - Think and Discuss: 87

Answer

The Earth spins from west to east (the sun rises in the east), so rockets are fired in an easterly direction to take advantage of that boost, since they already have an easterly tangential velocity. Points on the equator are the farthest from the spin axis and therefore have the greatest tangential speed (see page 134). A launch from near the equator provides the biggest boost.
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