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I got my answer deleted for the question, Is there any advantage in launching spacecraft from a high latitude, or why was Plesetsk built so far north?

I spent quite some time researching this question and found an interesting demonstration on the same forum using Tsiolkovsky's Rocket equation. Although the demonstration isn't totally accurate because it does not take into consideration gravitational forces, it nonetheless gives an introductory mathematical explanation as to the advantages of launching from the equator when attempting to orbit a payload.

One of the user who deleted my answer, @PearsonArtPhoto, answered the question 3 years ago and made the erroneous comment that such launches give marginal advantages based on the assumption that the only gain is the earth's higher rotational speed at the equator. However, the payload gain can be quite important due to the exponential nature of the Rocket equation and therefore on the cost of launch.

A NASA study dating back to 1959, made a detailed calculation of the the cost reduction of launching a Saturn rocket from the equator as compared to Cape Canaveral and concluded that equatorial LEOs are 80% more expensive propellant-wise due to required orbital plane changes.

For GTO orbits, Sea Launch company estimated 18 to 25% payload increasing when launching from the equator.

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    $\begingroup$ I see this notice on the deleted post: "Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.". I do not see that you have made the requested changes. $\endgroup$ – Oded Nov 15 '16 at 10:22
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Your answer was a good one, but unfortunately it answered the wrong question. The question was if there was any value for launching from a high latitude location. You answered why it's a good idea to launch at a low latitude location. If you can answer the question that was actually asked, then I think you'd likely have a good answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ fair enough, I have actually further expanded the text to make it clear that Pletesetck primary reason for lauching so many satellites is because it was the ideal launch site for the molniya orbits, which is Soviet Union's answer to the economically less viable GSO orbit from higher/lower latitudes. $\endgroup$ – Aurovrata Nov 18 '16 at 7:32

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