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Current Affairs

Karman line

Date: 15 July 2021 Tags: Space


Experts have doubted whether Richard Branson’s space mission reached a height that can be called as space.



Virgin Galactic recently made history when it reached space. This was the first manned mission by a private enterprise.



  • The space line is officially known as Karman line. It is located 100 km above the Mean Sea Level. US agencies consider it at about 80 km.

  • Virgin Galactic was successful in reaching a height of 86 km and qualified as space mission under US standards but international acknowledgement is yet to follow.

  • Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin mission will go at a height of about 106 km. The Karman line has been named after famous aerospace scientist Theodore von Kármán.

  • It is similar to international waters as there are no laws governing beyond this point. No rules of Earth apply after crossing this limit.


Need for Karman line

  • By defining the point beyond which space starts, disputes can be avoided and space activities can be conducted smoothly.

  • It is after this point that rules of aerodynamics stop applying and free space takes over. This line also keeps space neutral.


Presence of space

  • There has been no clear demarcation of space. Based on presence of charged particles and winds of Earth, space is said to start 118 km above Sea level.

  • Some scientists believe that troposphere and stratosphere should be considered atmosphere and parts of mesosphere and complete thermosphere should be outer space.