MadSci Network: Physics

Re: why don't we hear a sonic boom shortly after the space shuttle launches?

Date: Fri Nov 3 00:08:16 2000
Posted By: Dennis K. Van Gemert, Engineer/Scientist, Expendable Launch Systems
Area of science: Physics
ID: 971400699.Ph

The Shuttle hits Mach 1 while flying over the Atlantic Ocean; thus the 
shock wave impinges the Earth, causing a pressure differential, over the 
ocean's surface, and not on land near the viewing area.  If a portion of 
the shock wave were to pass over the visitor's viewing area, it would be 
inaudible due to the noise level of the SRMs (Solid Rocket Motors).


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