Why is it important to put a limit on space?
Commercial space travel will be responsible for the imposition of an international space boundary. McDowell proposes the limit at 80 kilometers in height.
Currently, the line that determines where the space begins is Karman’s linewhich was named because of Theodore von Karmana Hungarian engineer who was the first to calculate at what point the Earth’s atmosphere became too thin to allow airplanes to fly. The Karman line is set at 100 kilometers high.
Karman determined the limit at 83.8 kilometers in 1956. However, he was not seeking to establish the limit of space, Karman was trying to define the highest point an airplane could flysomething that was interpreted as the spatial limit.
The World Air Sports Federation uses 100 kilometers as the spatial limit
McDowell, astrophysicist; and Bargainan expert in spatial laws, believe that the number began to round, coming to use 100 because it is an easy number to remember. It was in 1960 when FAI officially set the limit of space at 100 kilometers to define the flights that should be considered space flights. Now the World Air Sports Federation (FAI) is considering move the line to 80 kilometers.
In the short term, altering the definition of the limits of space does not seem to have any consequence. Although it is true that it could alter history in terms of who has actually been in outer space on Earth.
have a international agreement that defines the limits of space could have big implications for the future of the aerospace industry. For example, defining which vehicles would be considered aircraft, and which would be considered spacecraft, and more importantly, creating a legal framework for commercial space travel.
The reason why IAF has now decided to consider this change has been the research presented by McDowell. McDowell is the Harvard astrophysicist who decided to investigate how many rockets have actually reached space and, therefore, how many people could be considered astronauts. To answer these questions, the first thing I needed to know is where does space begin. He decided to go through the history of space launches to try to define the limit in a better way.
McDowell has established a much more precise limit than the one currently used by the FAI: 80 kilometers with a variable of 10 kilometers. To understand it more simply, 80 kilometers is the lowest altitude at which a satellite can complete an orbit around our planet. To stay in orbit, the satellite has to travel in a elliptical orbitso it only stays within 80 kilometers for part of the trip, hence the variable.
A new spatial boundary could cause problems
There is no agreement among international organizations to use a single digit as spatial boundary. The US Air Force already sets the limit of space at 80 kilometers, as does NASA.
One of the reasons that a consensus has not yet been reached is that an international agreement establishing a line to mark the beginning of space could complicate air laws. For example, it would cause a problem if a plane flew below the spatial limit invading the territory of another state; something that does not happen now, well there is no law that exactly defines airspace.
most of aircraft operate at a height much lower than the proposed limit (80 kilometers), so there would be a space where they would never operate. It is not clear whether the laws that apply to this field should be aerial or space, since the area is used only by space vehicles, traveling to outer space or returning from it.
Gangale believes that Now it’s time to set the limit. More and more private companies are preparing commercial space travelso a limit that establishes what laws affect them, depending on whether they are in the airspace of a country or in outer spaceIt is something that is becoming more and more important.