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The Edge of Space - Apr 11, 2009 at 9:57PM
Melanie Markman
133 Posts

An instrument developed at University of Calgary was used by scientists to find the location of what may be the edge of space.

This edge of space is defined as the boundary between Earth's atmosphere and outer space.

With the data from this new instrument scientists confirmed that space begins 73 miles above the surface of the Earth.  While we now know this much, there are still many unknowns about the boundary of space due to many definitions.

Astronauts have been saying they have been into space after they pass the 50 mile mark.  Yet, the boundary recognized by many members of the space industry has been known to be 62 miles.  This was calculated by scientist Theodor Von Karman who stated that at 62 miles the atmosphere is so thin that a conventional aircraft can no longer function.

The United States has never adopted a set boundary.  It has been said this is because it would complicate the issue of overflight rights of satellites and any other orbiting body.  Yet, it is known that NASA uses 76 miles for their re - entry altitude for shuttles.

In the new study, the Supra - Thermal Ion Imager, a new instrument, detected the boundary by tracking the winds of Earth's atmosphere and the charged particles in space.

The instrument was carried by the Joule II rocket on January 19th of 2007.  It traveled to about 124 miles above sea level, and collected data for the five minuets within the edge space.

It is said that the data could aid the study of space and weather impacts on earth.

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Replies to The Edge of Space

Re: The Edge of Space - Aug 08 2010 6:00AM
Julie Hunt
1 Posts

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