I'd like to respond to Milo Buchholz's letter to the editor published online Feb. 8. Buchholz stated that rockets are to blame for climate change because they break the speed of sound.
I studied rockets and the space program in depth for two years while attending graduate school at the University of North Dakota's Aerospace Department in the space studies program. I can say with complete confidence that there is not now nor has there ever been any correlation between rockets breaking the speed of sound and climate change. According to his logic, we should have had terrible weather since the first V2 rocket was successfully tested by Germany in 1942. There have been rockets constantly breaking the speed of sound since that time, including those that were part of the space race in the 1960s which saw an almost exponential increase in rocket launches.
Today, many major countries in the world have their space programs with private companies even now successfully launching large rockets. Where is the proof that any of this activity has influenced climate change?
If rockets breaking the speed of sound caused climate change, jet aircraft would essentially be identical and therefore I will include jet aircraft with rockets. The speed of sound was officially broken by a jet aircraft in 1947 and since that time, many hours have been flown by jet aircraft surpassing the speed of sound.
Remember the sonic booms commonly heard in the 1960s and early 1970s? Those booms were aircraft breaking the speed of sound. Where's the proof that those aircraft or aircraft today flying faster than the speed of sound has ever contributed to climate change?
The reasons for climate change are complex, but stating that rockets breaking the speed of sound are to blame for climate change without any supporting evidence is nothing more than irresponsible. There is simply no proof to support your statements.
Kyllo lives in Grand Forks.