The Pale Blue Dot? Chapter Nine: The Curvature of Rockets on a Flat Earth

Originally Written By Thomas Perez. July 26, 2019 at 3:34AM. Copyright 2019. Updated 2020.

Question: Why Do Rockets Curve? 

Many flat Earthers ask this question. It is their attempt to show people that rockets curve due to their inabilities to penetrate the firmament (dome) of Earth. They usually accompany this claim by showing pictures like the one below…

They would also cite that this is precisely the reason why we never see a rocket go into space. NASA and other space agencies will always cut to a CGI animation of what is taking place now as the rocket falls out of view to the observer. After the animation is completed, the broadcast is also usually completed and we once again return to our regularly scheduled programing. It is only after 2, 3, or 5 days and even weeks, after non-observable evidence, that we are suddenly given photos and video feeds. To the flat Earther, this is suspicious activity.

NASA and Mainstream Science Explanations

According to mainstream science, rockets curve because “If a rocket just flew straight up, then it would fall right back down to Earth when it ran out of fuel! Rockets have to tilt to the side as they travel into the sky in order to reach orbit, or a circular path of motion around the Earth. This steering technique is known as a gravity turn, which uses Earth’s gravity to help conserve rocket fuel and minimize stress and strain on the spacecraft.This works by rotating the spacecraft until its heavier side is facing down to help curve its flight into orbit.”

https://howthingsfly.si.edu/ask-an-explainer/why-do-rockets-curve-when-they-fly-space-instead-going-straight

“It only goes straight up for a few seconds as it’s clearing the pad. It turns to an angled path almost immediately after clearing the launch platform and begins traveling more horizontally than upwards very soon. If you listen to the audio from NASA TV during a shuttle launch, you’ll hear them call out altitude, speed, and distance downrange at semi-regular intervals. By about 50 seconds, it is twice as far horizontally downrange as it is above the surface in altitude. You can listen to the audio in this shuttle launch from NASA TV. As others have said, this is because anything in low Earth orbit must accelerate to around 18,000 mph horizontally in order to stay in orbit. Basically, the speed tangent to the surface of the Earth must be such that the acceleration towards the Earth from gravity causes the object to fall around the Earth in a closed loop rather than falling into the atmosphere.”

https://space.stackexchange.com/questions/4085/does-the-space-shuttle-fly-straight-up-when-leaving-earth/4087#4087

“Airplanes aren’t launched vertically because their goal isn’t really to efficiently escape from the Earth’s gravitational field (or at least from Earth’s atmosphere) but to move at a different location in the horizontal direction, to a different place on the Earth’s surface. An approximately horizontal takeoff (with some tilt, to achieve the height where the atmosphere is less dense and the air resistance is lower) is better for that purpose.”

https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/206978/why-are-rockets-launched-vertically

“The reason why rock is launch vertically instead of simply launching sideways is that by starting out going straight up they get past the majority of the atmosphere quickly. So on most launches, the spacecraft gets just high enough to get above what is called Max Q, which is rocket scientist talk for the point of maximum aerodynamic resistance on the rocket.” Exactly where this occurs is a function of both; the density of the atmosphere and the speed of the rocket; for the space shuttle it occurred at about 35,000 ft.” “Most rockets launch to the East because the Earth is already rotating East, and therefore, when it is still on the Launch pad it (and you) is already traveling at 1000 miles per hour in an Eastern direction, depending on how close to the equator you are – closer to the Equator means a higher “resting” velocity.”

Carl Henshaw: Navel Research Laboratory

https://www.quora.com/Do-our-rockets-go-up-straight-They-seem-to-curve-when-observed-Why

The following picture and GIF from NASA demonstrates what they are telling us. It is called a ‘sling shot’ due to what they call ‘gravity turn.’

http://www.spaceabc.com

https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/launch-windows/en/

My Rebuttal

However, as mentioned above, a plane can travel at altitudes of 35,000 ft. “The highest commercial airliner altitude was 60,000 feet by Concorde. The highest military air-breathing engine airplane was the SR-71 — about 90,000 feet. The highest airliner flying today reaches 45,000 feet. The highest business jet flying today reaches 51,000 feet.”

https://www.ksdk.com/mobile/article/news/nation-now/ask-the-captain-highest-altitudes-for-planes/465-c4da732b-7457-4d23-a2b3-9770627ddaba

Moreover, “If you fly above an altitude of 100 km (62 miles) above Earth, you are officially considered ‘in space.’ The US Air Force would call you an ‘astronaut’ if you flew above 80 km (almost 50 miles). That is 264,000 feet. ‘World View Experience’ and ‘Zero2infinity’ are working to show you the world in space at 100,000 ft. Neither company can offer a trip to space — in the United States you’re not considered an astronaut until you’ve cleared an altitude of 50 miles (264,000 ft) well above the balloon trip’s ceiling (they are proposing through eventual boost offs – T. Perez) — but they’re betting that near-space can offer a similar experience. From these companies one can see the world like this…

https://www.airspacemag.com/space/see-world-100000-feet-180955329/#KTUikTWpDWp7rvEI.99

Many today believe that the Tiros satellite was the first to take a picture of the Earth seen from “space” on April 1, 1960. But that is not true. The first picture came from a captured Nazi V2 rocket in 1946. “On October 24, 1946, researchers at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, strapped a Devry 35-millimeter movie camera into the nose of a V2 rocket captured from the Nazis and blasted it towards space. The rocket shot straight up, 65 miles into the atmosphere before sputtering to a stop and descending back to earth at 500 feet per second, reports Tony Reichhardt at Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazine. The film, protected by a steel case, returned the first images of our planet from space.”

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/70-years-ago-today-nazi-rockets-and-american-scientists-took-first-photo-earth-space-180960890/

65 miles is 343,200 ft! That is even higher than our 35,000 and 90,000 ft accomplishments in typical aviation. They say; “You should be able to detect it from an aeroplane at a cruising height of around 10,600 metres (35,000 feet), but you need a fairly wide field of view (ie 60 degrees) and a virtually cloud-free horizon.”

https://www.quora.com/At-what-altitude-do-you-see-the-curvature-of-the-Earth

Here is a picture from the V2 rocket showing Earth in 1946…

Here is a video depicting the events. A camera is mounted upon the rocket. Naturally, the 1946 commentator declares that he can see the curvature of the Earth. I’m sorry, but I beg to differ. Watch the entire 4:13 second video…

However, enter the globe heliocentric adherents at Metabunk. They claim that the photograph above the video is cropped and therefore tampered with. They are quoted as saying; “Isn’t it easier just to point out that the photo Flat Earther’s are using is cropped?” Unquote. Moreover, they also claim, “Rotated to horizontal. The picture doesn’t have great contrast, but I think it’s clear there is curvature visible.” This is simply NOT true. However, a blogger that goes by the name of “Trailblazers” wisely pointed out the mechanisms and workings of the particular camera mounted upon the V2 rocket, concluding that, “We don’t know the focal length of the lens, and thus we don’t know the field of view.” 

For more on their side of the story see…

https://www.metabunk.org/claim-first-image-of-space-taken-from-v-2-rocket-proves-the-earth-is-flat.t9115/

But getting back to what the Metabunkers said. How can they possibly say that the picture above was cropped? The following video blows that hypothesis away. In this video the camera pans up. Something that the boys at Metabunk conveniently forgot to mention. And this video isn’t even from a flat Earther like the first one was…

Moreover, according to various pilots who have flown over 35,000 ft, they say they see no curvature….

“From a friend who was a military pilot, and from sources such as the many books I have read on the SR-71 and U-2 it can be said that this doesn’t appear until you get up to 55K-60K feet. The highest I have been is 41K on a 777 and I couldn’t see anything but a flat horizon.”

“I am an airline pilot, and the highest I have been is 41000. Can’t say that I have noticed any curvature. Not that I have been specifically looking for it either though. I would also guess that one would have to be at least 20 miles up to notice a curve without any instruments.”

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travelbuzz/633492-pilots-when-can-you-start-seeing-curvature-earth-sky-black.html

Others have said different things. Some claiming that they saw what seemed to be a curvature. Others couldn’t decipher it. Non-pilots claim seeing an apparent curvature during dusk and/or dawn. Still others claim seeing a flat Earth horizon in the South and at the same time seeing a curvature in North. That must have been quite an experience to see two polar opposites. The last statement may be due to the firmament, its light and shape of the dome as it reflects light toward the Earth causing a bending in the horizon to appear.

Many flat Earthers use a document in reference to a paper published by NASA concerning linear aircraft. It is said there that NASA uses the non-rotating flat stationary Earth with reference to their calculations. The following four pictures demonstrate this in reference to a flat Earth…

NASA (.gov) › dryden › pdf

However, “To linearize a non-linear flight model for the purpose of simplification, you have to assume those criteria otherwise it would no longer be LINEAR. Linear algebra is used make approximations of nonlinear models. If the mass changes the calculations are no longer linear. If the vector of gravity changes via a spherical earth it wouldn’t be LINEAR. A flat plane and constant mass are demands to linearize the math. This paper is articulating the process used to linearize the model for quicker approximations. Those that are using this paper as a justification for a flat earth have no flipping idea what they are reading or understand linear algebra. If flight happened with things of constant mass on a flat plane then the linear model would be the only one that existed. There wouldn’t be papers about the process of linearization.”

https://forum.tfes.org/index.php?topic=4936.0

The objection is correct. BUT the blogger did not account for Linear independence or two vectors having two different dimensions. “If two vectors point in different directions, even if they are not very different in direction, then the two vectors are said to be linearly independent. If vectors point in the same direction, then you can multiply vector by a constant, scalar value and get vector, and vice versa to get from the two. If the two vectors point in different directions, then this is not possible to make one out of the other because multiplying a vector by a scalar will never change the direction of the vector, it will only change the magnitude. This concept generalizes to families of more than two vectors. Three vectors are said to be linearly independent if there is no way to construct one vector by combining scaled versions of the other two. The same definition applies to families of four or more vectors by applying the same rules.”

https://microphysicsdaily.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/chapter-2-physics-and-mathematics/

See also my article…

The Infinite Flat Earth and the “Theory” of Gravity Explained Mathematically

Question: “Can you add two vectors representing physical quantities having different dimensions? Solution: Two quantities can not be added or subtracted if they have different dimensions be it a vector or a scalar quantity. But they can be multiplied or divided, or only multiplied in the case of vectors.”

Now if the magnitude be changed then consider the vector space R[X]R[X] of all polynomials with real coefficients, and let rr be a fixed real number.

Prove that the set

I(r)={f(X)R[X]f(r)=0}I(r)={f(X)∈R[X]∣f(r)=0} is an infinite-dimensional vector subspace of R[X]R[X].

Now suppose

I(r)={f(X)R[X]f(r)=0}I(r)={f(X)∈R[X]∣f(r)=0} is a finite-dimensional vector subspace with f1,,fnf1,…,fn as the basis.

Let NN be the maximum of the degrees of the polynomials f1,,fnf1,…,fn.

Then all linear combinations of f1,,fnf1,…,fn are in I(r)I(r), the space of polynomials of degree N≤N.

Then any polynomial of higher degree, such as f(x)=xN+1f(x)=xN+1

will not be in the span of f1,,fnf1,…,fn,

which contradicts the facts that the vector space

R[X]R[X] contains all polynomials with real coefficients.

So prove by contradiction that

I(r)={f(X)R[X]f(r)=0}I(r)={f(X)∈R[X]∣f(r)=0} is an infinite-dimensional vector subspace of R[X]R[X].

(xr)N+1(x−r)N+1 Can be said, I believe. A quicker proof, though, would be to note that

{(xr)n}n1{(x−r)n}n≥1 is linearly independent. If I(r)I(r) contains an infinite linearly independent set, then I(r)I(r) can’t have finite dimension.

NOTE: The wording in the 3rd picture. Notice the term; linearized system metrics (LSM)? Well, long story short LSM is supposed to supposedly work with “the theory of general relativitylinearized gravity is the application of perturbation theory to the metric tensor that describes the geometry of spacetime. As a consequence, linearized gravity is an effective method for modeling the effects of gravity when the gravitational field is weak. The usage of linearized gravity is integral to the study of gravitational waves and weak-field gravitational lensing.” Notice where it says the gravitational field is weak. Which means that the paper done in 1988 was conducted at an assumed altitude where the force of gravity is weak.

At 65mi high, the V2 rocket entered space and lost its aerodynamics once it reached the gravitational weak point because it did not have the fuel to keep it in orbit above that height. The test was designed mainly to see the Earth, not to orbit it, hence it came down and crashed. The point I am making is that even at the point of the Earth’s weak gravitational field at 65mi above, the Earth appeared flat and endless against the expanse of its own space. This is also apparently true concerning NASA’s linear aircraft paper written in 88.

Even the universe, according to NASA is flat. “Recent measurements (c. 2001) by a number of ground-based and balloon-based experiments, including MAT/TOCO, Boomerang, Maxima, and DASI, have shown that the brightest spots are about 1 degree across. Thus the universe was known to be flat to within about 15% accuracy prior to the WMAP results. WMAP has confirmed this result with very high accuracy and precision. We now know (as of 2013) that the universe is flat with only a 0.4% margin of error. This suggests that the Universe is infinite in extent; however, since the Universe has a finite age, we can only observe a finite volume of the Universe. All we can truly conclude is that the Universe is much larger than the volume we can directly observe.”

https://wmap.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/uni_shape.html

Conclusion

In an article about domed and curved glass shapes; the apparent “in thing” to construct these days in modern architecture are curved glass buildings – where the edges curve. According to  “The world is curved. So should be the glass − and our thinking. There is no excuse for forcing old flat glass designs, now that we can finally put our trust in curved forms.” The juxtaposition in this statement is astounding.

‘Glass Bending and Tempering – No More Flat Thinking For a Curved World.’

“Reflection is when light bounces off an object. If the surface is smooth and shiny, like glass, water or polished metal, the light will reflect at the same angle as it hit the surface. This is called specular reflection. Light reflects from a smooth surface at the same angle as it hits the surface.”

https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/48-reflection-of-light

So it is would appear that according to linear systems, rockets, whether you believe that they go into the infinite space of the Earth’s firmament, or typical space, or not; do go up. After going up they all begin to maintain an arc in order to eventually obtain a safe orbit. The question that should be asked then is whether this orbit is circular, as in its circulation underneath all that is moving above them, except for the North star Polaris, or are they circling around a ball? The answer to that question should be fairly obvious judging by the equations above. And even though mathematical formulas for a traveling rocket around a globe does exist, it doesn’t negate the alternative linear expressions as listed above. When we couple that with everything we’ve learned thus far, the case for a geocentric stationary flat infinite Earth seems highly plausible. If not, then absolutely true.