#BAFact: The common definition of where "space" starts - the Kármán line - is 100 km above the Earth.

More info: The link below goes to a report I wrote after attending a conference on research opportunities in sub-orbital rocket flights. These go above the Kármán line briefly, and provide 3-4 minutes of microgravity... enough to do some pretty solid science. I was surprised to learn this, but there really is a lot that can be done in such time. And at $200,000 per ticket, the price is actually reasonable compared to many other such ventures.
Cool stuff | Alan Stern | I recently attended a conference in Boulder, and I have to admit that before I went I wasn't sure what to make of it. Now I do, and I'm very glad I went.The mee
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Your link mentions a follow-up article. Can you provide a link to that as well? Thanks.
I saw +Alan Stern present the sub-orbital science package idea to a small group of scientists a few years ago in an effort to solicit ideas and gauge interest. From what I could tell, the scientists were nonplussed and sadly not a single scientific experiment was discussed (even with Mr. Stern's gentle prompting). So I wonder, has the overall tenor of the field regarding cheap sub-orbital science changed, did I just happen to sit in on a bummer of a group, or did the Space Shuttle decommissioning change things for good?
I wouldn't be surprised at all that a ton of good work can happen in 4-5 minutes of microgravity. My research group and I did some "vomit comet" flights in grad school, and those flights give you only 15 minutes or so of zero-g, but split up into 25-second increments. We lost about the first and last 3-4 seconds just keeping control of our bodies and equipment. Add in the infrastructure requirements of having to stop and start our experiment 35 times, and we were probably left with 5 minutes of good time, only a small fraction of which was good data. We still got a published paper!
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