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Re: For the love of science, please drop near-space!

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  • upand_at_them
    I thought the whole point of calling it near space was to distinguish it from outer space . Yep, amateur balloons don t go to outer space. I don t see a
    Message 1 of 22 , Jan 8, 2012
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      I thought the whole point of calling it "near space" was to distinguish it from "outer space". Yep, amateur balloons don't go to outer space.

      I don't see a problem.

      Mike
    • wb8elk@aol.com
      I agree with Ben....as far as the environment goes, the stratosphere provides a good testing ground for things like testing space-qualified solar cells.
      Message 2 of 22 , Jan 9, 2012
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        I agree with Ben....as far as the environment goes, the stratosphere provides a good testing ground for things like testing space-qualified solar cells. Testing solar cells at altitudes above 100,000 feet actually comes within 1 percent of them actually being in Space. The Martian atmosphere is also simulated in this region.  So as far as the environment goes, it is indeed Near Space.
         
        - Bill WB8ELK
         



         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...>
        To: Gpsl <GPSL@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Sat, Jan 7, 2012 11:36 am
        Subject: [GPSL] For the love of science, please drop near-space!

         
        I think as a whole, its time to stop using the pseudoscience fallacy that 'balloons go to near-space'. They don't.

        The public needs all the real science info it can get. We as amateur scientists have had our sensationalistic fun calling it 'near-space', but it's been taken too far by the media. Now the general public has a false understanding of atmosphere and physics, thanks to the overzealous captions on pictures of the black sky.

        For those that don't understand, here's the deal- the official demarcation of the start of space is 100km altitude, which is 68 miles, or 328,000 ft. Amateur balloons top out at 140,000 ft.

        That means the highest balloons burst at only 42% of the distance to space.

        Less than halfway is simply not near, in fact, the highest balloon altitude is nearer to Earth than it is to space! According to NASA these are high altitude balloons. The fact that the pics look so space-like from still deep inside our atmosphere is more intriguing than if they were taken from space anyway.

        Shall we?

        Thanks,
        Dan

        Sent from my iPhone
      • Dan Bowen
        I m sorry, I seem to have mis-represented my point. The point (and a fight that is worth pickin as Mike said) is this: The general public now has a false
        Message 3 of 22 , Jan 9, 2012
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          I'm sorry, I seem to have mis-represented my point. The point (and a fight that is worth pickin' as Mike said) is this:

          The general public now has a false understanding of the atmosphere and buoyancy, thanks to senationalist headlines of 'Space' over balloon pictures of the black sky.

          This comes quite directly from media stories that have mistaken the amateur use of the term near-space to mean outer-space, and print it as simply 'space'.   Such misinformation can have far-reaching effects downstream, as not all the people in the world think so clearly about the details as us amateur and professional engineers.  Did the amateurs say just 'space'?  I've never seen one quoted with such a gaffe, it's always the media and uninformed public that makes the logical leap from the unfamiliar term 'near-space' to the easier to say, less qualified, 'space'.

           Whatever your definition of where our balloons go(environment, distance), the use of the term NEAR-SPACE has proven to be too confusing for the public to convey the scientific concept that balloons don't leave the atmosphere.  I think it's a real shame to willingly further the corruption of public science knowledge, in defense of technical correctness.

          So, again, I suggest that you consider making the term near-space a technical term, and find something less misleading to media and the public. 

          Thanks,
          Dan Bowen
          White Star, SNOX, and UTARC

          On Jan 7, 2012, at 12:48 PM, Ben Gelb wrote:

           

          Hmm.. I'm not sure if I agree or not.

          In any case, I am not sure that looking at the linear distance and
          saying "balloons are only 42% of the way there" is the right metric to
          be looking at for determining "nearness" to space. The air density is
          reduced by a lot more than 42%, for example...

          Where would "near space" actually be in your estimation?

          On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 9:36 AM, Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...> wrote:
          > I think as a whole, its time to stop using the pseudoscience fallacy that 'balloons go to near-space'.  They don't.
          >
          > The public needs all the real science info it can get.   We as amateur scientists have had our sensationalistic fun calling it 'near-space', but it's been taken too far by the media.  Now the general public has a false understanding of atmosphere and physics, thanks to the overzealous captions on pictures of the black sky.
          >
          > For those that don't understand, here's the deal- the official demarcation of the start of space is 100km altitude, which is 68 miles, or 328,000 ft.  Amateur balloons top out at 140,000 ft.
          >
          > That means the highest balloons burst at only 42% of the distance to space.
          >
          > Less than halfway is simply not near, in fact, the highest balloon altitude is  nearer to Earth than it is to space!  According to NASA these are high altitude balloons.  The fact that the pics look so space-like from still deep inside our atmosphere is more intriguing than if they were taken from space anyway.
          >
          > Shall we?
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Dan
          >
          >
          > Sent from my iPhone
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >


        • Mike Manes
          Dan, To be clear, I believe I quipped that this ain t
          Message 4 of 22 , Jan 9, 2012
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            Dan,

            To be clear, I believe I quipped that this >ain't< a fight worth pickin', with
            reference to Wikipedia. Specifically:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_space

            Now I'm not claiming that Wikipedia is the final authority on anything, but
            it's where the media can go to for a reasonable definition based on MSL
            altitude, and it sure beats a bunch of disorganized whining by a gaggle of
            amateurs. Further, to pursue a heightened level of education of the general
            public is, well, just a tad quixotic, IMHO.

            73 de Mike W5VSI

            On 1/9/2012 16:51, Dan Bowen wrote:
            >
            >
            > I'm sorry, I seem to have mis-represented my point. The point (and a fight
            > that is worth pickin' as Mike said) is this:
            >
            > The general public now has a false understanding of the atmosphere and
            > buoyancy, thanks to senationalist headlines of 'Space' over balloon pictures
            > of the black sky.
            >
            > This comes quite directly from media stories that have mistaken the amateur
            > use of the term near-space to mean outer-space, and print it as simply
            > 'space'. Such misinformation can have far-reaching effects downstream, as not
            > all the people in the world think so clearly about the details as us amateur
            > and professional engineers. Did the amateurs say just 'space'? I've never seen
            > one quoted with such a gaffe, it's always the media and uninformed public that
            > makes the logical leap from the unfamiliar term 'near-space' to the easier to
            > say, less qualified, 'space'.
            >
            > Whatever your definition of where our balloons go(environment, distance), the
            > use of the term NEAR-SPACE has proven to be too confusing for the public to
            > convey the scientific concept that balloons don't leave the atmosphere. I
            > think it's a real shame to willingly further the corruption of public science
            > knowledge, in defense of technical correctness.
            >
            > So, again, I suggest that you consider making the term near-space a technical
            > term, and find something less misleading to media and the public.
            >
            > Thanks,
            > Dan Bowen
            > White Star, SNOX, and UTARC
            >
            > On Jan 7, 2012, at 12:48 PM, Ben Gelb wrote:
            >
            >> Hmm.. I'm not sure if I agree or not.
            >>
            >> In any case, I am not sure that looking at the linear distance and
            >> saying "balloons are only 42% of the way there" is the right metric to
            >> be looking at for determining "nearness" to space. The air density is
            >> reduced by a lot more than 42%, for example...
            >>
            >> Where would "near space" actually be in your estimation?
            >>
            >> On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 9:36 AM, Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...
            >> <mailto:dbowen1%40mac.com>> wrote:
            >> > I think as a whole, its time to stop using the pseudoscience fallacy that
            >> 'balloons go to near-space'. They don't.
            >> >
            >> > The public needs all the real science info it can get. We as amateur
            >> scientists have had our sensationalistic fun calling it 'near-space', but
            >> it's been taken too far by the media. Now the general public has a false
            >> understanding of atmosphere and physics, thanks to the overzealous captions
            >> on pictures of the black sky.
            >> >
            >> > For those that don't understand, here's the deal- the official demarcation
            >> of the start of space is 100km altitude, which is 68 miles, or 328,000 ft.
            >> Amateur balloons top out at 140,000 ft.
            >> >
            >> > That means the highest balloons burst at only 42% of the distance to space.
            >> >
            >> > Less than halfway is simply not near, in fact, the highest balloon
            >> altitude is nearer to Earth than it is to space! According to NASA these are
            >> high altitude balloons. The fact that the pics look so space-like from still
            >> deep inside our atmosphere is more intriguing than if they were taken from
            >> space anyway.
            >> >
            >> > Shall we?
            >> >
            >> > Thanks,
            >> > Dan
            >> >
            >> >
            >> > Sent from my iPhone
            >> >
            >> >
            >> > ------------------------------------
            >> >
            >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >> >
            >> >
            >> >
            >>
            >
            >
            >
            >

            --
            Mike Manes mrmanes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
            "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
            A. Einstein
          • Mark Conner
            I don t see adjusting our terminology, internally or externally, because of the media s congenital inability to get science or details right. It is their job
            Message 5 of 22 , Jan 9, 2012
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              I don't see adjusting our terminology, internally or externally, because of the media's congenital inability to get science or details right.  It is their job to understand what they write, not ours to break out our baby spoons every time a journalist is attempting science writing.  

              Personally, I like "(Amateur Radio) High Altitude Ballooning".  It's a bit cumbersome, though, and doesn't convey many of the challenges involved that "Near Space" does.  I have no issue with those that prefer the latter.

              I would encourage people to define "Near Space" when using the term initially with 'outsiders' so there is clarity.  But to abandon the term for the media is unnecessary.

              73 de Mark N9XTN

              On Mon, Jan 9, 2012 at 17:51, Dan Bowen <dbowen1@...> wrote:


              The general public now has a false understanding of the atmosphere and buoyancy, thanks to senationalist headlines of 'Space' over balloon pictures of the black sky.


            • Joe
              I use the Near Space Especially since it is in the name we chose over 20 years ago for our group. BUT I also while saying it is in What we call Near Space
              Message 6 of 22 , Jan 10, 2012
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                I use the "Near Space" Especially since it is in the name we chose over 20 years ago for our group.  BUT I also while saying it is in "What we call Near Space"  Because of the environment the payload has experienced getting to where it is and it's current environment for all practical purposes is the environment of "Space"

                Joe wb9sbd
                Sig
                The Original Rolling Ball Clock
                Idle Tyme
                Idle-Tyme.com
                http://www.idle-tyme.com

                On 1/9/2012 9:33 PM, Mark Conner wrote:
                I don't see adjusting our terminology, internally or externally, because of the media's congenital inability to get science or details right.  It is their job to understand what they write, not ours to break out our baby spoons every time a journalist is attempting science writing.  

                Personally, I like "(Amateur Radio) High Altitude Ballooning".  It's a bit cumbersome, though, and doesn't convey many of the challenges involved that "Near Space" does.  I have no issue with those that prefer the latter.

                I would encourage people to define "Near Space" when using the term initially with 'outsiders' so there is clarity.  But to abandon the term for the media is unnecessary.

                73 de Mark N9XTN

                On Mon, Jan 9, 2012 at 17:51, Dan Bowen <dbowen1@...> wrote:


                The general public now has a false understanding of the atmosphere and buoyancy, thanks to senationalist headlines of 'Space' over balloon pictures of the black sky.


              • Pete Lilja
                We could call it Going to Kalamazoo. That s almost as much fun to say but less descriptive of what we do. Pete KC0GOB
                Message 7 of 22 , Jan 10, 2012
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                  We could call it "Going to Kalamazoo."  That's almost as much fun to say but less descriptive of what we do.

                  Pete
                  KC0GOB

                  On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM, Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...> wrote:
                   

                  I think as a whole, its time to stop using the pseudoscience fallacy that 'balloons go to near-space'. They don't.

                  The public needs all the real science info it can get. We as amateur scientists have had our sensationalistic fun calling it 'near-space', but it's been taken too far by the media. Now the general public has a false understanding of atmosphere and physics, thanks to the overzealous captions on pictures of the black sky.

                  For those that don't understand, here's the deal- the official demarcation of the start of space is 100km altitude, which is 68 miles, or 328,000 ft. Amateur balloons top out at 140,000 ft.

                  That means the highest balloons burst at only 42% of the distance to space.

                  Less than halfway is simply not near, in fact, the highest balloon altitude is nearer to Earth than it is to space! According to NASA these are high altitude balloons. The fact that the pics look so space-like from still deep inside our atmosphere is more intriguing than if they were taken from space anyway.

                  Shall we?

                  Thanks,
                  Dan

                  Sent from my iPhone


                • Mike Manes
                  Or, how about calling it, ehem, the Edge of Space? ... CTO EOSS ... -- Mike Manes mrmanes@gmail.com Tel: 303-979-4899 Things should be made as simple
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jan 10, 2012
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                    Or, how about calling it, ehem, the Edge of Space?
                    :=) de Mike W5VSI
                    CTO EOSS

                    On 1/10/2012 08:57, Pete Lilja wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > We could call it "Going to Kalamazoo." That's almost as much fun to say but
                    > less descriptive of what we do.
                    >
                    > Pete
                    > KC0GOB
                    >
                    > On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM, Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...
                    > <mailto:dbowen1@...>> wrote:
                    >
                    > __
                    >
                    > I think as a whole, its time to stop using the pseudoscience fallacy that
                    > 'balloons go to near-space'. They don't.
                    >
                    > The public needs all the real science info it can get. We as amateur
                    > scientists have had our sensationalistic fun calling it 'near-space', but
                    > it's been taken too far by the media. Now the general public has a false
                    > understanding of atmosphere and physics, thanks to the overzealous
                    > captions on pictures of the black sky.
                    >
                    > For those that don't understand, here's the deal- the official demarcation
                    > of the start of space is 100km altitude, which is 68 miles, or 328,000 ft.
                    > Amateur balloons top out at 140,000 ft.
                    >
                    > That means the highest balloons burst at only 42% of the distance to space.
                    >
                    > Less than halfway is simply not near, in fact, the highest balloon
                    > altitude is nearer to Earth than it is to space! According to NASA these
                    > are high altitude balloons. The fact that the pics look so space-like from
                    > still deep inside our atmosphere is more intriguing than if they were
                    > taken from space anyway.
                    >
                    > Shall we?
                    >
                    > Thanks,
                    > Dan
                    >
                    > Sent from my iPhone
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >

                    --
                    Mike Manes mrmanes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
                    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
                    A. Einstein
                  • DON FRASER
                    Dan; Back when I was on active duty in the Air Force, pilots of the SR71 & U2 and another aircraft going above 50K feet MSL had to wear space suits for all
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jan 10, 2012
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                      Dan;

                      Back when I was on active duty in the Air Force, pilots of the SR71 & U2 and another aircraft going above 50K feet MSL had to wear space suits for all flights.  Because those days were more than a few years ago, I also checked the web for more current data and I found the following:  "Above the 63,000-foot threshold, humans must wear spacesuits that supply oxygen for breathing and that maintain a pressure around the body to keep body fluids in the liquid state. At this altitude the total air pressure is no longer sufficient to keep body fluids from boiling. "  The link is:  http://www.pbs.org/spacestation/station/living_spacesuit.htm

                      Perhaps this alternative definition would let us continue to use "Near Space" since most of our balloon flights go above 63K feet.

                      Don, WA9WWS

                      > > On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM, Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...
                      > > <mailto:dbowen1@...>> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > __
                      > >
                      > > I think as a whole, its time to stop using the pseudoscience fallacy that
                      > > 'balloons go to near-space'. They don't.
                      > >
                      > > The public needs all the real science info it can get. We as amateur
                      > > scientists have had our sensationalistic fun calling it 'near-space', but
                      > > it's been taken too far by the media. Now the general public has a false
                      > > understanding of atmosphere and physics, thanks to the overzealous
                      > > captions on pictures of the black sky.
                      > >
                      > > For those that don't understand, here's the deal- the official demarcation
                      > > of the start of space is 100km altitude, which is 68 miles, or 328,000 ft.
                      > > Amateur balloons top out at 140,000 ft.
                      > >
                      > > That means the highest balloons burst at only 42% of the distance to space.
                      > >
                      > > Less than halfway is simply not near, in fact, the highest balloon
                      > > altitude is nearer to Earth than it is to space! According to NASA these
                      > > are high altitude balloons. The fact that the pics look so space-like from
                      > > still deep inside our atmosphere is more intriguing than if they were
                      > > taken from space anyway.
                      > >
                      > > Shall we?
                      > >
                      > > Thanks,
                      > > Dan
                      > >
                      > > Sent from my iPhone
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >

                    • Daniel Bowen
                      Listen all, I know, and have known, all the nitpicking detail crap you keep repeating, while you ignore the point I ve been trying to educate YOU on. Look at
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jan 10, 2012
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                        Listen all, I know, and have known, all the nitpicking detail crap you keep repeating, while you ignore the point I've been trying to educate YOU on.

                        Look at the broad picture, beyond your engineering trivia:

                        The public and media hear NEAR-SPACE and seem to translate that to mean close to us in outer space, or something like that, as they commonly refer to the balloons as simply being in 'SPACE'.  And really, why wouldn't they assume that?  You didn't say far atmosphere, space-like, nor did they pay attention to the 2 minutes time in their life where buoyancy and the atmosphere properties were taught.

                        Now why wouldn't the next question be, "why can't we go other places in space with balloons?"   "Why do we need to find NASA if dudes with cb radios can take things to space?," they could be expected to think.

                        It muddies the tenuous grasp they might have of displacement, buoyancy and the atmosphere to see mainstream news reporting conflicting information.

                        It's downright shameful to actually defend causing damage to the scientific knowledge of lay people just so you can be technically correct by purposely using a confusing term.  

                        Dan


                        Sent from my iPhone

                        On Jan 11, 2012, at 0:12, DON FRASER <wa9wws@...> wrote:

                         

                        Dan;

                        Back when I was on active duty in the Air Force, pilots of the SR71 & U2 and another aircraft going above 50K feet MSL had to wear space suits for all flights.  Because those days were more than a few years ago, I also checked the web for more current data and I found the following:  "Above the 63,000-foot threshold, humans must wear spacesuits that supply oxygen for breathing and that maintain a pressure around the body to keep body fluids in the liquid state. At this altitude the total air pressure is no longer sufficient to keep body fluids from boiling. "  The link is:  http://www.pbs.org/spacestation/station/living_spacesuit.htm

                        Perhaps this alternative definition would let us continue to use "Near Space" since most of our balloon flights go above 63K feet.

                        Don, WA9WWS

                        > > On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM, Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...
                        > > <mailto:dbowen1@...>> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > __
                        > >
                        > > I think as a whole, its time to stop using the pseudoscience fallacy that
                        > > 'balloons go to near-space'. They don't.
                        > >
                        > > The public needs all the real science info it can get. We as amateur
                        > > scientists have had our sensationalistic fun calling it 'near-space', but
                        > > it's been taken too far by the media. Now the general public has a false
                        > > understanding of atmosphere and physics, thanks to the overzealous
                        > > captions on pictures of the black sky.
                        > >
                        > > For those that don't understand, here's the deal- the official demarcation
                        > > of the start of space is 100km altitude, which is 68 miles, or 328,000 ft.
                        > > Amateur balloons top out at 140,000 ft.
                        > >
                        > > That means the highest balloons burst at only 42% of the distance to space.
                        > >
                        > > Less than halfway is simply not near, in fact, the highest balloon
                        > > altitude is nearer to Earth than it is to space! According to NASA these
                        > > are high altitude balloons. The fact that the pics look so space-like from
                        > > still deep inside our atmosphere is more intriguing than if they were
                        > > taken from space anyway.
                        > >
                        > > Shall we?
                        > >
                        > > Thanks,
                        > > Dan
                        > >
                        > > Sent from my iPhone
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >

                      • wb8elk@aol.com
                        Dan, I ve always preferred the Edge of Space and used that term during the early days of high altitude ballooning. The term Near Space has been used for
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jan 10, 2012
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                          Dan,

                            I've always preferred the "Edge of Space" and used that term during the early days of high altitude ballooning.
                            The term Near Space has been used for quite some time by the military, scientific communities and commercial companies for the region that high altitude balloons operate in so we're stuck with it I would think.....I think the Near Space terminology has been around for well over a decade now and I personally do like the term....but not as well as stratospheric or the previously mentioned Edge of Space.

                            The only folks who find it confusing are lay people and the media folks who attempt to write about science. The "shameful" part of all this is that no matter what we call our favorite region of the atmosphere is that the general public and the majority of the media folks who report on it will still confuse it with actual "Space". Reporters will still write stories  like "College students beat NASA with Space Balloon" regardless of the terminology provided to them. A story entitled "Middle-aged ham radio operator flies a balloon into the stratosphere" will never get published in the general media unless the reporters change it to "Man flies balloon into Space cheaper than NASA".

                            There are exceptions in the media that do stand out. For example, a reporter for the Mercury in the Bay Area called me to check out a claim by a school's balloon program that they had beat the CNSP altitude record for an article she was doing. Fact checking is something that few reporters seem to do anymore so I was impressed by her diligence. The school program had claimed an impossibly high altitude over 138,000 feet using a 1000 gram balloon. Turns out it was based on altitude calculated by pressure sensor data and they had made a mistake with the conversion formula from pressure to altitude...not to mention the inaccuracy of determining altitude from a pressure sensor above 100k feet. Their real altitude was approx 108,000 feet. So the reporter changed her story to reflect the fact that Ron K6RPT had kept his altitude record. 

                            The news media folks need that "competition" formula to write stories.....hence the "Students beat NASA" story that pops up every year with brand-new participants where the media reports it in a way that implies that its never been done before. Memory span of the general public is probably less than a week (maybe less than a day or two) on stories such as these.

                            So.....the only solution that I see is to raise the basic educational level of the general population and the media who reports these things  and I think that will take a much larger effort than changing the name of Near Space.

                          - Bill WB8ELK




                            

                            



                            

                            


                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...>
                          To: DON FRASER <wa9wws@...>
                          Cc: GPSL <gpsl@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Tue, Jan 10, 2012 7:12 pm
                          Subject: Re: [GPSL] For the love of science, please drop near-space!

                           
                          Listen all, I know, and have known, all the nitpicking detail crap you keep repeating, while you ignore the point I've been trying to educate YOU on.

                          Look at the broad picture, beyond your engineering trivia:

                          The public and media hear NEAR-SPACE and seem to translate that to mean close to us in outer space, or something like that, as they commonly refer to the balloons as simply being in 'SPACE'.  And really, why wouldn't they assume that?  You didn't say far atmosphere, space-like, nor did they pay attention to the 2 minutes time in their life where buoyancy and the atmosphere properties were taught.

                          Now why wouldn't the next question be, "why can't we go other places in space with balloons?"   "Why do we need to find NASA if dudes with cb radios can take things to space?," they could be expected to think.

                          It muddies the tenuous grasp they might have of displacement, buoyancy and the atmosphere to see mainstream news reporting conflicting information.

                          It's downright shameful to actually defend causing damage to the scientific knowledge of lay people just so you can be technically correct by purposely using a confusing term.  

                          Dan


                          Sent from my iPhone

                          On Jan 11, 2012, at 0:12, DON FRASER <wa9wws@...> wrote:

                           
                          Dan;

                          Back when I was on active duty in the Air Force, pilots of the SR71 & U2 and another aircraft going above 50K feet MSL had to wear space suits for all flights.  Because those days were more than a few years ago, I also checked the web for more current data and I found the following:  "Above the 63,000-foot threshold, humans must wear spacesuits that supply oxygen for breathing and that maintain a pressure around the body to keep body fluids in the liquid state. At this altitude the total air pressure is no longer sufficient to keep body fluids from boiling. "  The link is:  http://www.pbs.org/spacestation/station/living_spacesuit.htm

                          Perhaps this alternative definition would l et us continue to use "Near Space" since most of our balloon flights go above 63K feet.

                          Don, WA9WWS

                          > > On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM, Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...
                          > > <mailto:dbowen1@...>> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > __
                          > >
                          > > I think as a whole, its time to stop using the pseudoscience fallacy that
                          > > 'balloons go to near-space'. They don't.
                          > >
                          > > The public needs all the real science info it can get. We as amateur
                          > > scientists have had our sensationalistic fun calling it 'near-space', but
                          > > it's been taken too far by the media. Now the general public has a false
                          > > understanding of atmosphere and physics, thanks to the overzealous
                          > > captions on pictures of the black sky.
                          > >
                          > > For those that don't understand, here's the deal- the official demarcation
                          > > of the start of space is 100km altitude, which is 68 miles, or 328,000 ft.
                          > > Amateur balloons top out at 140,000 ft.
                          > >
                          > > That means the highest balloons burst at only 42% of the distance to space.
                          > >
                          > > Less than halfway is simply not near, in fact, the highest balloon
                          > > altitude is nearer to Earth than it is to space! According to NASA these
                          > > are high altitude balloons. The fact that the pics look so space-like from
                          > > still deep inside our atmosphere is more intriguing than if they were
                          > > taken from space anyway.
                          > >
                          > > Shall we?
                          > >
                          > > Thanks,
                          > > Dan
                          > >
                          > > Sent from my iPhone
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >

                        • Joe
                          What a Horrible name! :-) Joe WB9SBD The Original Rolling Ball Clock Idle Tyme Idle-Tyme.com http://www.idle-tyme.com
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jan 11, 2012
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                            What a Horrible name! :-)

                            Joe WB9SBD
                            Sig
                            The Original Rolling Ball Clock
                            Idle Tyme
                            Idle-Tyme.com
                            http://www.idle-tyme.com

                            On 1/10/2012 10:41 PM, Mike Manes wrote:
                            Or, how about calling it, ehem, the Edge of Space?
                            :=) de Mike W5VSI
                            CTO EOSS
                            
                            On 1/10/2012 08:57, Pete Lilja wrote:
                            
                            
                            We could call it "Going to Kalamazoo."  That's almost as much fun to say but
                            less descriptive of what we do.
                            
                            Pete
                            KC0GOB
                            
                            On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM, Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...
                            <mailto:dbowen1@...>> wrote:
                            
                                __
                            
                                I think as a whole, its time to stop using the pseudoscience fallacy that
                                'balloons go to near-space'. They don't.
                            
                                The public needs all the real science info it can get. We as amateur
                                scientists have had our sensationalistic fun calling it 'near-space', but
                                it's been taken too far by the media. Now the general public has a false
                                understanding of atmosphere and physics, thanks to the overzealous
                                captions on pictures of the black sky.
                            
                                For those that don't understand, here's the deal- the official demarcation
                                of the start of space is 100km altitude, which is 68 miles, or 328,000 ft.
                                Amateur balloons top out at 140,000 ft.
                            
                                That means the highest balloons burst at only 42% of the distance to space.
                            
                                Less than halfway is simply not near, in fact, the highest balloon
                                altitude is nearer to Earth than it is to space! According to NASA these
                                are high altitude balloons. The fact that the pics look so space-like from
                                still deep inside our atmosphere is more intriguing than if they were
                                taken from space anyway.
                            
                                Shall we?
                            
                                Thanks,
                                Dan
                            
                                Sent from my iPhone
                            
                            
                            
                            
                            
                            
                          • Joe
                            Works for me! Joe WB9SBD The Original Rolling Ball Clock Idle Tyme Idle-Tyme.com http://www.idle-tyme.com
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jan 11, 2012
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                              Works for me!

                              Joe WB9SBD
                              Sig
                              The Original Rolling Ball Clock
                              Idle Tyme
                              Idle-Tyme.com
                              http://www.idle-tyme.com

                              On 1/10/2012 11:12 PM, DON FRASER wrote:
                              Dan;

                              Back when I was on active duty in the Air Force, pilots of the SR71 & U2 and another aircraft going above 50K feet MSL had to wear space suits for all flights.  Because those days were more than a few years ago, I also checked the web for more current data and I found the following:  "Above the 63,000-foot threshold, humans must wear spacesuits that supply oxygen for breathing and that maintain a pressure around the body to keep body fluids in the liquid state. At this altitude the total air pressure is no longer sufficient to keep body fluids from boiling. "  The link is:  http://www.pbs.org/spacestation/station/living_spacesuit.htm

                              Perhaps this alternative definition would let us continue to use "Near Space" since most of our balloon flights go above 63K feet.

                              Don, WA9WWS

                              > > On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM, Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...
                              > > <mailto:dbowen1@...>> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > __
                              > >
                              > > I think as a whole, its time to stop using the pseudoscience fallacy that
                              > > 'balloons go to near-space'. They don't.
                              > >
                              > > The public needs all the real science info it can get. We as amateur
                              > > scientists have had our sensationalistic fun calling it 'near-space', but
                              > > it's been taken too far by the media. Now the general public has a false
                              > > understanding of atmosphere and physics, thanks to the overzealous
                              > > captions on pictures of the black sky.
                              > >
                              > > For those that don't understand, here's the deal- the official demarcation
                              > > of th e start of space is 100km altitude, which is 68 miles, or 328,000 ft.
                              > > Amateur balloons top out at 140,000 ft.
                              > >
                              > > That means the highest balloons burst at only 42% of the distance to space.
                              > >
                              > > Less than halfway is simply not near, in fact, the highest balloon
                              > > altitude is nearer to Earth than it is to space! According to NASA these
                              > > are high altitude balloons. The fact that the pics look so space-like from
                              > > still deep inside our atmosphere is more intriguing than if they were
                              > > taken from space anyway.
                              > >
                              > > Shall we?
                              > >
                              > > Thanks,
                              > > Dan
                              > >
                              > > Sent from my iPhone
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >

                            • Ben Gelb
                              Hi Dan - I believe your point has been well understood, but that nobody seems to agree with your view. This is not the same as failing to understand. As Mark
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jan 11, 2012
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                                Hi Dan -

                                I believe your point has been well understood, but that nobody seems to agree with your view. This is not the same as failing to understand. As Mark put it:

                                I don't see adjusting our terminology, internally or externally, because of the media's congenital inability to get science or details right.  It is their job to understand what they write, not ours to break out our baby spoons every time a journalist is attempting science writing. 

                                To be honest, I actually think its a pretty presumptuous thing to deem the world so incapable of understanding a bit of subtlety or nuance that we actually need to change how we talk about what we do in order for those stupid (as you seem to imply) "public and media" people to understand. Sure there are bound to be some stupid headlines (as there are about all science, and other disciplines as well), but I don't think this is unique to us, and honestly I don't think there is much point in wasting time on it. A bad reporter is likely to always turn out bad reporting, no matter how dumbed-down the story is. 

                                Aside from this, I think you're giving really unfair treatment to many members of the public who actually do have a brain and are quite capable of understanding what you have, for some reason, concluded is above them. I'd be careful doing that.

                                On Tue, Jan 10, 2012 at 10:11 PM, Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...> wrote:


                                Listen all, I know, and have known, all the nitpicking detail crap you keep repeating, while you ignore the point I've been trying to educate YOU on.

                                Look at the broad picture, beyond your engineering trivia:

                                The public and media hear NEAR-SPACE and seem to translate that to mean close to us in outer space, or something like that, as they commonly refer to the balloons as simply being in 'SPACE'.  And really, why wouldn't they assume that?  You didn't say far atmosphere, space-like, nor did they pay attention to the 2 minutes time in their life where buoyancy and the atmosphere properties were taught.

                                Now why wouldn't the next question be, "why can't we go other places in space with balloons?"   "Why do we need to find NASA if dudes with cb radios can take things to space?," they could be expected to think.

                                It muddies the tenuous grasp they might have of displacement, buoyancy and the atmosphere to see mainstream news reporting conflicting information.

                                It's downright shameful to actually defend causing damage to the scientific knowledge of lay people just so you can be technically correct by purposely using a confusing term.  

                                Dan


                                Sent from my iPhone

                                On Jan 11, 2012, at 0:12, DON FRASER <wa9wws@...> wrote:

                                 

                                Dan;

                                Back when I was on active duty in the Air Force, pilots of the SR71 & U2 and another aircraft going above 50K feet MSL had to wear space suits for all flights.  Because those days were more than a few years ago, I also checked the web for more current data and I found the following:  "Above the 63,000-foot threshold, humans must wear spacesuits that supply oxygen for breathing and that maintain a pressure around the body to keep body fluids in the liquid state. At this altitude the total air pressure is no longer sufficient to keep body fluids from boiling. "  The link is:  http://www.pbs.org/spacestation/station/living_spacesuit.htm

                                Perhaps this alternative definition would let us continue to use "Near Space" since most of our balloon flights go above 63K feet.

                                Don, WA9WWS

                                > > On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM, Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...
                                > > <mailto:dbowen1@...>> wrote:
                                > >
                                > > __
                                > >
                                > > I think as a whole, its time to stop using the pseudoscience fallacy that
                                > > 'balloons go to near-space'. They don't.
                                > >
                                > > The public needs all the real science info it can get. We as amateur
                                > > scientists have had our sensationalistic fun calling it 'near-space', but
                                > > it's been taken too far by the media. Now the general public has a false
                                > > understanding of atmosphere and physics, thanks to the overzealous
                                > > captions on pictures of the black sky.
                                > >
                                > > For those that don't understand, here's the deal- the official demarcation
                                > > of the start of space is 100km altitude, which is 68 miles, or 328,000 ft.
                                > > Amateur balloons top out at 140,000 ft.
                                > >
                                > > That means the highest balloons burst at only 42% of the distance to space.
                                > >
                                > > Less than halfway is simply not near, in fact, the highest balloon
                                > > altitude is nearer to Earth than it is to space! According to NASA these
                                > > are high altitude balloons. The fact that the pics look so space-like from
                                > > still deep inside our atmosphere is more intriguing than if they were
                                > > taken from space anyway.
                                > >
                                > > Shall we?
                                > >
                                > > Thanks,
                                > > Dan
                                > >
                                > > Sent from my iPhone
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >
                                > >




                              • Mike Manes
                                When I was flying A4 s for USN, the threshold for requiring a pressure suit was 45K . One lazy day, I managed to budge my A4C up to just above 40K , but it
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jan 11, 2012
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                                  When I was flying A4's for USN, the threshold for requiring a pressure suit
                                  was 45K'. One lazy day, I managed to budge my A4C up to just above 40K',
                                  but it took full T/O power and I was just hanging in the air at approach
                                  AoA. But the sky sure did look a lot darker blue than at lower altitudes :=).

                                  BTW, O2 is required by the FAA and USN for any daytime flights over 15K' and
                                  10K' at night in an unpressurized bird - for good reason. On one S2F COD
                                  flight to Yankee Station, we were put in hold to let the boat prep for
                                  flight ops, so we went for max duration flight, goosing it up to 14K';
                                  after about 30 minutes up there, I felt the clear onset of anoxia.

                                  So the notion of "near" is in the lungs, e.g., of the beholder.

                                  73 de Mike W5VSI

                                  On 1/10/2012 22:12, DON FRASER wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Dan;
                                  >
                                  > Back when I was on active duty in the Air Force, pilots of the SR71 & U2 and
                                  > another aircraft going above 50K feet MSL had to wear space suits for all
                                  > flights. Because those days were more than a few years ago, I also checked the
                                  > web for more current data and I found the following: "Above the 63,000-foot
                                  > threshold, humans must wear spacesuits that supply oxygen for breathing and
                                  > that maintain a pressure around the body to keep body fluids in the liquid
                                  > state. At this altitude the total air pressure is no longer sufficient to keep
                                  > body fluids from boiling." The link is:
                                  > http://www.pbs.org/spacestation/station/living_spacesuit.htm
                                  >
                                  > Perhaps this alternative definition would let us continue to use "Near Space"
                                  > since most of our balloon flights go above 63K feet.
                                  >
                                  > Don, WA9WWS
                                  >
                                  > > > On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 11:36 AM, Daniel Bowen <dbowen1@...
                                  > > > <mailto:dbowen1@...>> wrote:
                                  > > >
                                  > > > __
                                  > > >
                                  > > > I think as a whole, its time to stop using the pseudoscience fallacy that
                                  > > > 'balloons go to near-space'. They don't.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > The public needs all the real science info it can get. We as amateur
                                  > > > scientists have had our sensationalistic fun calling it 'near-space', but
                                  > > > it's been taken too far by the media. Now the general public has a false
                                  > > > understanding of atmosphere and physics, thanks to the overzealous
                                  > > > captions on pictures of the black sky.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > For those that don't understand, here's the deal- the official demarcation
                                  > > > of the start of space is 100km altitude, which is 68 miles, or 328,000 ft.
                                  > > > Amateur balloons top out at 140,000 ft.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > That means the highest balloons burst at only 42% of the distance to space.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Less than halfway is simply not near, in fact, the highest balloon
                                  > > > altitude is nearer to Earth than it is to space! According to NASA these
                                  > > > are high altitude balloons. The fact that the pics look so space-like from
                                  > > > still deep inside our atmosphere is more intriguing than if they were
                                  > > > taken from space anyway.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Shall we?
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Thanks,
                                  > > > Dan
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Sent from my iPhone
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >

                                  --
                                  Mike Manes mrmanes@... Tel: 303-979-4899
                                  "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not more so."
                                  A. Einstein
                                • Robert Rochte
                                  Just to set the record straight, at least one of us *does* agree with Dan (me). I think his arguments are entirely valid, though his overall goal may border
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jan 11, 2012
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                                    Just to set the record straight, at least one of us *does* agree with Dan (me).  I think his arguments are entirely valid, though his overall goal may border on quixotic. 

                                    -R


                                    On Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM, Ben Gelb <ben@...> wrote:


                                    Hi Dan -

                                    I believe your point has been well understood, but that nobody seems to agree with your view. This is not the same as failing to understand.
                                  • Philip Heron
                                    ... I always cringed a bit when I see another article on a site or in the news talking about amateur pictures from space or similar. I avoid any mention of
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Jan 12, 2012
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                                      On 12/01/2012 01:41, Robert Rochte wrote:
                                      > Just to set the record straight, at least one of us *does* agree with Dan
                                      > (me). I think his arguments are entirely valid, though his overall goal
                                      > may border on quixotic.

                                      I always cringed a bit when I see another article on a site or in the
                                      news talking about "amateur pictures from space" or similar. I avoid any
                                      mention of space when talking about my flights. Getting above 30km is
                                      impressive enough without having to big it up even more.

                                      -Phil
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