Launching from the Earth's Surface

If a trip of this nature were launched directly from the Earth's surface, this entire amount of propellant would have to be first separated from the Earth (by overcoming its gravitational force). According to what was stated previously, an extraordinary expenditure of energy is necessary for this purpose.

For the present case, at least with the efficiencies of currently available propellants, the amount to be carried on board would constitute such a high fraction of the total weight of the vehicle that it could hardly be built.

The only visit to a celestial body that could probably be undertaken directly from the Earth's surface with propellants known to date, would be an orbiting of the Moon for exploring its surface characteristics in more detail, in particular, the side of the Moon that continually faces away from the Earth. During this trip, the space ship could also be "captured" by the Moon, so that it would circle the Moon as often as necessary in a free orbit as a moon of the Moon. The amount of propellants necessary for this effort would not be much greater than for a normal ascent from the Earth up to escape velocity.

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