CX881
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Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 1:48 pm

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
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n844aa
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 1:51 pm

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
 
jhooper
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:06 pm

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.
 
BA
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:14 pm

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
 
cloudy
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:31 pm

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.
 
JMChladek
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 3:38 pm

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.
 
sabenapilot
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 3:53 pm

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.
 
vanguard737
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:10 pm

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.
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sabenapilot
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:33 pm

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]
 
pelican
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:39 pm

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?


 
sabenapilot
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:53 pm

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....


 
a380900
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 6:35 pm

Europeans are always right. When it comes to the metric system, I would dare say: "the French are always right"!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
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Cadmus
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed Apr 28, 2004 6:44 pm

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
 
RIX
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Thu Apr 29, 2004 4:43 am

"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...
 
ultrapig
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Thu Apr 29, 2004 4:46 am

somewhere near uranus for asking such a question
 
FinnWings
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Thu Apr 29, 2004 5:19 am

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
 
D-aqui
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:41 am

@ 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.
 
pelican
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:53 am

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

 
pelican
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:05 am

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

Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:17 am

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
 
warren747sp
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:17 am

But the German scientist choose to become U.S. Citizens and renounce their German nationality. By definition, they are Americans.
747SP
 
pelican
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:33 am

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
 
vanguard737
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Thu Apr 29, 2004 9:50 am

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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lehpron
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:04 am

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.
 
Areopagus
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:04 am

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.
 
RIX
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Fri Apr 30, 2004 4:35 am

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 the Europeans from your point of view." - to me, nobody here is/acts "strange" just because he/she is "from the other side of the pond". I replied to a specified words that were far from necessary to be said. Because, absolutely, "this is a forum about aviation, not chauvinism".

"I wouldn't be so arrogant if I were you" - a great one. Please tell me where I was personally offensive. To begin with about what "arrogant" is.

"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?" - even more so. I did hear (actually, read in Soviet newspaper) about Wernher von Braun first time apparently before you were born. His contribution to the US space program may be considered as "European/German" no more than my job here in the US as "Soviet/Latvian contribution to the US software industry". I'm not sarcastic, such an opinion has right to exist, it can be well supported by arguments. Still, look (and this time carefully) at this:

"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 [it in] NASA?
I would reckon not, since the first manned US space flight was merely a ballistic one, not an orbital one...."


Our dear friend Sabenapilot insists two first American space flights were not space flights because "European, Russian and Chinese definitions don't consider them so, but [as so often, that American] NASA has its own standards". What if some American guy posts here something like "to consider it a truly cognac, you must add this and that... according by American agency's definition... Does anybody know it in France?" That is what my post was about - in the same tone as initial one. Too emotional? My apologies (indeed!).

Regards!
RIX


 
ben
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Fri Apr 30, 2004 6:28 am

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 under the JAA, I don't know about elsewhere).

The lowest layer of the atmosphere is the troposphere. It goes up to the tropopause at 11km or 36,090ft (average). Then the stratosphere begins and continues to the stratopause at about 50km. The Ozone layer is within the lower half of the stratosphere with highest concentrations between 60,000 and 100,000 ft.

While altitude is increasing, the atmospheric pressure is decreasing. At the top of the stratosphere (the stratopause) the pressure is just below 1 millibar. That is compared to a standard sea-level pressure of 1013.25 millibars!

Above the stratosphere there is firstly the mesosphere (50km to 80km) and then the thermosphere. At the top of the thermosphere, 110 km above the earth's surface, the pressure is 0.0001 millibars!! So there is still "atmosphere" at that height.

Where space begins all depends on where you decide to draw a line. Nobody is right or wrong for using different definitions.
 
pelican
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Fri Apr 30, 2004 8:39 am

@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 are offended by those people I can understand you, but there is no reason to generalize!
I should tell you were you have been offensive? Please read reply 13 and you should know.

I did hear (actually, read in Soviet newspaper) about Wernher von Braun first time apparently before you were born -amazing! But what does that mean? My grandpa heard about rockets before you were born, so he must be an expert!

His contribution to the US space program may be considered as "European/German" no more than my job here in the US as "Soviet/Latvian contribution to the US software industry". Hats off! - I didn't know that you are the chief developer of windows.
Maybe there are people who know a little bit about history... (you know people who study history at a real university)

I never said that the US space program wasn't the most successful of all (only the Russians could keep up with it). And of course the US have done the biggest efforts to achieve this. But at the beginning the Russians as the US had some not unimportant help from German engineers.
Please, look at http://history.msfc.nasa.gov/rocketry/tl5.html or just google Wernher von Braun - you could find some more serious sources than your Soviet newspaper.

BTW I don't doubt Shepard and Grissom nor the X-15 pilots like Joe Walker have been astronauts.

pelican




[Edited 2004-04-30 01:49:21]
 
RIX
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Fri Apr 30, 2004 11:51 pm

Dear Pelican,

Well, now it's your turn to be too emotional... my apologies again  Smile! Seriously, no offense intended... apparently, we simply don't quite understand each other. What's more, it was not us who began it - so let's make everything clear.

"You should distinguish between a.net members (I do not and I will never bash Americans because I am European - that's completely stupid!)." - absolutely. I reacted on your "I wouldn't be so arrogant if I were you" - I believe "arrogant" is an offensive term while (I hope) I didn't attack anybody in person... never mind, let me just completely agree with the above quote from your post, "both ways".

"I did hear (actually, read in Soviet newspaper) about Wernher von Braun first time apparently before you were born" was a reply to your "Have you ever heard..." - on the same tone as the question was asked. No way this was to mean "I heard it before you, so I know it better" - that would be less amazing than just silly and funny...

"Hats off! - I didn't know that you are the chief developer of windows." - wow... read it again - I said, von Braun's work here is no more "German" contribution than my work here is "Latvian" contribution - disregard it's value and importance! So, "hats back on" - I didn't say "I've done the same for US software industry as von Braun did for US space program". Honestly, they invented Windows here when I was still in Latvia  Smile...

"Maybe there are people who know a little bit about history... (you know people who study history at a real university)... Please, look at ... - you could find some more serious sources than your Soviet newspaper." - well, this doesn't sound friendly  Smile... still, let's skip it - I hope, my point is now clear.

"BTW I don't doubt Shepard and Grissom nor the X-15 pilots like Joe Walker have been astronauts." - neither I say you do. It was our dear Sabenaastronaut who said, NASA even doesn't know what a space flight is since they never heard of [the truly] European definition of it. Pandora’s box was open... time to close?

Thanks for discussion and happy postings!
RIX




[Edited 2004-04-30 17:16:04]

[Edited 2004-04-30 17:17:14]

[Edited 2004-04-30 17:18:09]
 
pelican
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Sat May 01, 2004 1:12 am

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 work here is no more "German" contribution than my work here is "Latvian" contribution" - now I know what you meant (my English isn't already as good enough to understand every meaning). I understand your point but I don't agree with you completely though I think it's not necessary that you convince me or I convince you. We had both the opportunity to post our opinions, so there is no need for more arguments.

"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" - with that I alluded to the differences between Europe and the US of A. and the misunderstandings cause by these differences. I still think that the use of the metric system in Europe caused the whole debate about 50 miles or 100 km.
...

BTW I hope I've hurt nobody. I think the best discussions are the controversial ones. I love to debate, especially political or historical issues.

pelican

 
Spitfire
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RE: Where Does Space Begin?

Wed May 05, 2004 11:51 pm

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

Spitfire
Sabena ... Never to be forgotten (12 years already , what a shame !! )