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Expert: Branson’s flight can’t be considered space

Sputnik Kirill Kalinikov

Billionaire Richard Branson

Alexander Zeleznyakov, a Russian historian and expert in the history of space, announced that the flight of the Virgin Galactic spacecraft, with billionaire Branson on board, is not considered space because it did not reach an altitude of 100 km.

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The expert indicated in an interview with the Russian RIA Novosti news agency, that the vehicle, with Branson and three people on board, according to the direct transmission of the flight, rose to only 82.2 kilometers above the surface of the earth.

He says, “According to the definition adhered to by the US Civil Aviation Administration and the US Air Force, a flight is considered space if it is at an altitude of 50 miles (80 km). But according to the International Astronautical Federation, the boundaries of space begin at an altitude of 100 km above the Earth’s surface. That is, Branson’s flight under the international definition is not space.”

According to him, neither the Virgin Galactic nor the upcoming flight of billionaire Jeff Bezos on the Blue Origin spacecraft can be attributed to space flights. But “we can call it semi-space. That is, not complete.”

He adds, “These are flights that touch space, not space flights.” So these people can be considered mesospheric pioneers because they rise to the mesosphere in the Earth’s atmosphere, which is 80 kilometers in height. According to Zheleznyakov.

Source: RIA Novosti