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Space Transportation

Virgin Galactic Passengers May Just Miss Going into Space 203 203

DavidGilbert99 (2607235) writes "According to the customer contract those signing up for a $240,000 flight on Virgin Galactic's spaceship the company will bring you 'at least 50 miles' above sea level. The problem is that the internationally accepted boundary for outer space is 62 miles above sea level — known as the Karman Line. Virgin is trying to get around the issue by claiming it is using a definition of space used by NASA — in the 1960s."
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Virgin Galactic Passengers May Just Miss Going into Space

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  • by Orestesx (629343) on Monday May 12, 2014 @01:57PM (#46981213)
    Presumably they are looking to see the curvature of the earth and the stars set against a black background. If I saw that, I'd feel like I went to space, even if technically I did not.
  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Monday May 12, 2014 @02:05PM (#46981323)

    Dude, for the amount of money paid, I would sure want the whole 62 miles, as well as being serviced orally by an angel.

    For the amount of money paid, I would have read the fucking contract! This is less fuzzy than "unlimited" plans, and look how that turned out?

  • by burisch_research (1095299) on Monday May 12, 2014 @02:05PM (#46981339)

    This is just insane. Going to 50 miles, or 62 miles, or even 200 miles straight up is utterly pointless. It does not advance us at all. It's a gimmick for people with too much money and not enough brain cells. Yes, it might be 'space' (for a few minutes) -- but so what?! This is really old tech. The USA did this in the 50s.

    Getting to orbit is a lot harder, yes; but that's an actual achievement, instead of a publicity stunt. You can actually do useful stuff once you're in orbit. You can't do that from a jumped-up fairground ride.

    I expect this whole fiasco will quietly fade from the public eye, once the backers realize that they've invested heavily in a pig in a poke. If they are smart, they won't plough (plow, for Americans) any more cash into this travesty.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2014 @02:19PM (#46981559)

    So if I'm somewhere between the Sun and Alpha Centauri, but I happen to have no velocity with respect to the Earth, then I'm not in space?

  • by neilo_1701D (2765337) on Monday May 12, 2014 @02:28PM (#46981711)

    Back in the late '70s and early '80s, there were these expensive gimmicks called "personal computers". They didn't do much at all. Heck; some needed you to flip a whole bunch of switches before they could load a paper tape!

    Then there was this uber-expensing thing from some fruit company. Used a gadget called a "mouse", and you used the mouse to move boxes around on the screen. Cost $10,000 1983 dollars; back when the average income was just under $21,000.

    --

    Just because something is gimmicky today doesn't mean it won't become useful tomorrow. It does advance us, in terms of building an infrastructure that allows these flights to happen at all, in terms of learning to build space-rated hardware within a commercial cost basis. Then the price comes down, the $/lb comes down (over time) and we have a civilian launch system.

  • by NotDrWho (3543773) on Monday May 12, 2014 @02:48PM (#46981965)

    Just because something is gimmicky today doesn't mean it won't become useful tomorrow.

    Conversely, just because some gimmicky things in the past have become useful today doesn't mean that everything considered gimmicky today will become useful in the future. Two words for you on that: flying cars.

    Being open-minded to technology doesn't mean you have to accept EVERY technology or technological idea as practical.

  • Not 62 miles (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YoungManKlaus (2773165) on Monday May 12, 2014 @03:34PM (#46982523)

    100km you imperial-unit-morons!

  • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Monday May 12, 2014 @04:02PM (#46982875)

    It seems you are confused [wikipedia.org]. Anyway, good operating systems report file sizes correctly so there's no discrepancies to be concerned about.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo&world3,net> on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @07:22AM (#46988031) Homepage

    You also cannot *have* fewer than 1 friend, 1 piece of apple, or 1 desk.

    You could share a desk, thus having half of it for your own use.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.

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