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Where Does Space Begin?  
User currently offlineCX881 From Hong Kong, joined Oct 2003, 236 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3163 times:

I know that Concordes fly at 60,000 ft which is 11 miles up and wasn't sure how much farther up until they reached space!!!

Thanks,
CX881



747-400 - FOREVER THE QUEEN OF THE SKIES!!!
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3106 times:

At one point, the commonly accepted boundary line of space was 50 miles up -- X-15 pilots who flew higher than that would receive their astronaut wings. I'm not sure if that's still considered the boundary, although I suspect it probably is.


New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6204 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3069 times:

There isn't really a "boundary". The atmosphere just keeps getting thinner and thinner until there's no more left....


Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3045 times:

Space begins at about 62 miles above sea level.

The Concorde travels in the second layer of our atmosphere, the stratosphere.

Regards

[Edited 2004-04-28 07:24:09]


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2990 times:

There is no hard and fast boundary but 100 kilometers or, as stated above, 62 miles is the commonly used boundary. The original source of this is the US Airforce, I believe. It officialy considers a pilot an astronaut if he has been above that altitude.

The lowest orbiting satelites have been at about 90-100 miles. This orbit is not sustainable for long due to atmospheric drag.


User currently offlineJMChladek From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 331 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2952 times:

X-15 pilots earned astronaut wings on flights in excess of 260,000 feet. That altitude in feet I believe is the classification that the USAF and NASA use to determine the boundry for space. Not all X-15 pilots flew above that altitude and only the few that did got astronaut wings.

User currently offlineSabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 46
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2925 times:

Since there is no clear border, one has to take an 'easy number' to determine the border of space.

As so often, the US does use a different definition as the rest of the world. NASA uses 50SM (or 260,000ft), which classifies some experimental flights as space flights, yet both the European and Russian Space Agencies (as well as the Chinese and Japanese) use 100km, which converts to 61SM or 328,000ft, thus disqualifying these very same flights as space flights.


User currently offlineVanguard737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 684 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2872 times:

Sabenapilot:

>>the European and Russian Space Agencies (as well as the Chinese and Japanese) use 100km, which converts to 61SM or 328,000ft, thus disqualifying these very same flights as space flights.<<

As so often, Europe does think that THEIR definition of everything is absolute fact, you say that X-15 pilots don't qualify as traveling in space because Europe, Russia and Japan say so. Sorry to burst your bubble but NO MAN has the authority to determine absolute fact concerning something that is 100 percent debatable such as space, not even (gasp) EUROPEANS!! (yes, even EU "countries", or should i say provinces/states?)

As long as X-15 pilots fly in American uniform, for the US airforce, in US teritory, conforming to US standards, then they DID fly in space.



320 717 722 732 733 735 737 738 744 752 753 763 772 DC9 DC10 MD80 B1900 S340 E120 ERJ CRJ CR7
User currently offlineSabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 46
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2846 times:

euh????

When did I say Europe (and all other space agencies of the world BTW) claim THEY have it right and the others (Well, only ONE SINGLE other) has it wrong?

I just pointed out that due to the use of a different measuring unit (Miles against the more internationally used kilometer) combined with a round number, the space limit is around 20% lower in the US than the rest of the world and that some experimental flights in this border zone are not considered space flights according to all definitions is use....

Anyway, nice to see you are so flexible and openminded to the rest of the world's point of view... Therefore, may I announce in my tiny little self-declared country, space starts at 2 inches above the ground; since I have just jumped in the air dressed in a self-made uniform of General of my own one-man air force, have I now become an astronaut too!?  Laugh out loud

[Edited 2004-04-28 09:35:17]

User currently offlinePelican From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 2531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2828 times:

Nowadays 100km or 62.5 miles is the general determination of the boundary of space -even in the US of America.

To win the xprize for the first non state-run spaceflight you have to reach this altitude. http://www.xprize.org/

As far as I know the X-15 reached space even in the rest of the world definition. Joe Walker reached 67 miles with the X-15 in August 1963.

BTW you can find traces of atmosphere even in 1000 km above sea-level.

Vanguard737 is that tone necessary?




User currently offlineSabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2795 times:

That's right, the rather famous xprize project indeed requires an altitude of 100km to be reached too, so I think it is yet another argument to assume this as the best definition of space.

Anyway, just as a sidenote:
To be considered an astronaut, you also have to have made at least one earth's orbit in space according to the European and Russian (and Chinese and any other agency's) definition... Does anybody know about NASA?
I would reckon not, since the first manned US space flight was merely a ballistic one, not an orbital one....




User currently offlineA380900 From France, joined Dec 2003, 1116 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2701 times:

Europeans are always right. When it comes to the metric system, I would dare say: "the French are always right"!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineCadmus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2004, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2687 times:

As long as X-15 pilots fly in American uniform, for the US airforce, in US teritory, conforming to US standards, then they DID fly in space.

Just a thought - are you still in national territory 50 miles/100 km in the air? If not, then where does that end?



Understanding is a three-edged sword
User currently offlineRIX From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1787 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 20 hours ago) and read 2542 times:

"Vanguard737 is that tone necessary?" - wrong question. Should be (as that one was the starting point), "As so often, the US does..." - was that necessary?

"To be considered an astronaut, you also have to have made at least one earth's orbit in space according to the European and Russian (and Chinese and any other agency's) definition" - besides Soviet/Russians, no one else should open their mouths telling the US what a space flight is (yes, Chinese did it too but they are enough educated to respect far greater achievements of others). "European definition of what an astronaut is" - what is it??? Reminds me of some very nice jokes of Soviet era, like "Soviet elephants are the best in the world". BTW, Soviets, too, were enough polite and educated: in every Soviet source both first American flights were listed as space ones, just with note, "ballistic flight [or like]".

BTW, all moon landings were performed having orbit flight as first stage, but what if the "second start" was done without going to orbit, and then, after flying to moon and back, the spacecraft did not fly around the Earth a single time? Moon landings not to be space flights? By European definition. Relax, buddy...


User currently offlineUltrapig From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 589 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 19 hours ago) and read 2532 times:
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somewhere near uranus for asking such a question

User currently offlineFinnWings From Finland, joined Oct 2003, 640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 19 hours ago) and read 2486 times:

Just a thought - are you still in national territory 50 miles/100 km in the air? If not, then where does that end?

No, it isn't national airspace anymore... It is hard to define what is the highest limit of national space anyway. As far as I remember, there isn't any particular altitude. In Finland for example at FL660 and above is class "G" airspace. There you don't need any flightplan, permission or radio contact for flying. So basically everyone can fly there and so it can't be national airspace then.

I don't know if this same system is effective in US, but I guess at least in most JAR countries in Europe...not sure thought.

Regards,
FinnWings


User currently offlineD-aqui From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 203 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 18 hours ago) and read 2369 times:

@ our friends from the US in this thread:

By European definition Wernher von Braun (the father of the Saturn V rocket that carried the Apollo missions) was German (until he was given US-citizenship).

As far as I understand this is a forum about aviation, not chauvinism.


User currently offlinePelican From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 2531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (10 years 6 months 17 hours ago) and read 2328 times:

Rix, I couldn't see an offence in "As so often, the US does..." (though it could be meant as an offence) because you guys from the other side of the pond think and act sometimes strange from a European point of view. But I guess it's the same with the Europeans from your point of view.

As I stated 100 km or in the "strange" measure mile - 62,5 is nowadays everywhere accepted as the border to space --> see the American X-prize as a famous example.

Off course there is no real boundary between the atmosphere and space as I stated before, too! You could also say 50 miles (80 km) or even 100 miles (160 Km) and you weren't wrong. The reason for the 100 km is as far as I know just because of the nice number of 100 in the widespread measure of KILOMETER. That's the same reason why in the US 50 miles was/is often considered as the boundary of space! 89,952 km or 56,22 miles wouldn't be really nice.

BTW I wouldn't be so arrogant if I were you. It's true that the US had a magnificent space program and I admire it and I was impressed when I visited Kennedy Space Centre. But you shouldn't forget the European and especially the German contribution to the US space program. Have you ever heard of Wernher von Braun and his team of engineers?

pelican



User currently offlinePelican From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 2531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (10 years 6 months 17 hours ago) and read 2286 times:

@D-aqui
you were faster!
Wernher von Braun - and he wasn't the only German rocket engineer - was an interesting (zwiespaeltig) person?


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6484 posts, RR: 54
Reply 19, posted (10 years 6 months 17 hours ago) and read 2266 times:

There is of course no physical boundary.

But back in 1960 it was agreed between the USA and the USSR that "space" begins at 80 km altitude (a little less than 50 miles).

It means that a spacecraft flying above that limit cannot be considered an "illegal" flight over foreign territory.

So the 80 km is a political boundary. I think that it has later been adopted by the UN.

The original USA / USSR agreement was made at a Supreme Council meeting of the FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale - the international air sports federation) which took place in Moscow. Such famous US citizens as Charles E. (Chuck) Yeager and Mrs. Jacqueline (Jackie) Cochran (first man and woman to break the sound barrier) attended that meeting.

The previous year Jackie Cochran had been elected president of the Frederation Aeronautique Internationale.

They both flew to Moscow on Jackie's private Lockheed Lodestar airliner. That airliner was a gift from her husband Mr. Floyd Odlum, CEO and more or less owner of the Conwair aircraft factory.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineWarren747sp From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 6 months 17 hours ago) and read 2257 times:

But the German scientist choose to become U.S. Citizens and renounce their German nationality. By definition, they are Americans.


747SP
User currently offlinePelican From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 2531 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (10 years 6 months 17 hours ago) and read 2228 times:

Warren747sp nobody had denied that. But you should think about the circumstances in which they become US citizens.
Maybe "choose" isn't the right expression.
The basis to manned space flights were laid in Germany in the 30's and 40's. Without that the USA and the Soviet Union had surely reached space but surely not in the 50's.
http://history.msfc.nasa.gov/rocketry/tl5.html

pelican


User currently offlineVanguard737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 684 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (10 years 6 months 14 hours ago) and read 2172 times:

Warren747SP

I agree with pelican

They did not chose to become US citizens, we TOOK them before the communists could in 1945. The Germans put us in space, we just stuck our flag on the side of the rockets and put our astronauts in 'em!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

The V2 was the major inspiration, and the X-15 was designed in Germany during the war!!

Note to lessen our risks and determination as well, but von Braun and his associates deserve credit too.



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User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 23, posted (10 years 6 months 14 hours ago) and read 2149 times:

The reality is that air density thins out by an approxiamte exponential decaying function as you go up, dropping about 10 times per 10 miles.

Back during the Cold War, the Soviets and the Americans made an agreement that the number of 50 miles was picked to classify the difference between space craft and aircraft. 50 miles up is FL2640!

I think they knew that at 50 miles up, 90% of Earth's atmosphere exists below it. Our atmosphere has been detected at 1000 miles out, but I doubt it'll hold a plane up! Big grin



The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
User currently offlineAreopagus From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1370 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (10 years 6 months 13 hours ago) and read 2118 times:

During the Apollo era, Americans took pride that "Our Germans are better than their Germans!"

This is an odd debate. Give credit where credit is due, including to Goddard and Tsiolkovsky.

On whether Shepard and Grissom should be considered astronauts: they were by any definition, since Grissom flew Gemini-3 in orbit, and Shepard went to the moon. Oh, you mean in 1961...

BTW, all moon landings were performed having orbit flight as first stage, but what if the "second start" was done without going to orbit, and then, after flying to moon and back, the spacecraft did not fly around the Earth a single time? Moon landings not to be space flights?

Escape trajectory is a hyperbolic orbit.


25 RIX : Hey, Pelican! "you guys from the other side of the pond think and act sometimes strange from a European point of view. But I guess it's the same with
26 Ben : I realise some of you already know this, but here's an overview of the atmosphere. If you want to become a pilot, you will need to learn it (at least
27 Post contains links Pelican : @Rix You should distinguish between a.net members (I do not and I will never bash Americans because I am European - that's completely stupid!). If you
28 Post contains images RIX : Dear Pelican, Well, now it's your turn to be too emotional... my apologies again  ! Seriously, no offense intended... apparently, we simply don't qui
29 Pelican : Okay lets us close pandora's box. "Hats off! - I didn't know that you are the chief developer of windows. - wow... read it again - I said, von Braun's
30 Post contains links Spitfire : Have a look here: http://www.scaled.com/projects/tierone/New_Index/body.htm Space begins at 100 km for them. Anyway, nice and strange aircraft... Rgds
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