ASK ARSE: How far away is space?

ASK ARSE: How far away is space?

We have some new mail in the bag so let's go ahead and "Ask ARSE".

My name is Keegan and I am 12 years old and I was hoping you could tell me how far away space is from the Earth."

A poignant question young Keegan.

By our regular travel standards, outer space isn't that far away at all. 

Years ago, NASA defined the threshold between Earth and space where atmospheric pressure dropped under 1 pound per square foot or about 100km above sea level. 

Starman in SpaceX's Cherry Red Tesla Roadster

So If you drove your car vertically for 1 hour, you would arrive in space!
Then you would, unfortunately, die an agonising and horrific death. 

Eventually, this point became known as "The Karman Line".

Physicist Theo Von Karman

The reason the Karman Line was chosen to be the defining point between Earth and space is due to physicist Theo Von Karman calculating that the air is so thin, regular aircraft could not operate hence the need for "spacecraft".

Funnily enough, once you cross the Karman Line you are essentially in the space equivalent of "international waters", where countries legal control over airspace no longer exists.

Space war!

Why we could have massive international conflicts and Russian bombs raining from space over our very heads within your lifetime!

Thank you for your curiosity Kieran and keep looking towards the skies!


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