Suborbital flights will change the Earth’s climate

Private Danish company is developing the rocket for manned flight into space

One of the types of development of space tourism is the organization of suborbital space flights. As part of this flight the aircraft moves with a speed less than the first space, that is entering earth’s orbit does not occur. The altitude of suborbital flight is over a hundred kilometers, which severely exceeds the maximum flight altitude is 10 km away.

The successful flights of SpaceShipOne vehicle (this device in 2004, twice within two weeks out into space with people on Board) allowed its creators to announce the creation of the enterprise which will be engaged in sub-orbital space flights tourists.

According to various estimates, in the next decade, the industry of space tourism will be developed to such an extent that every year will be about a thousand sub-orbital flights.

As you know, Michael mills from the National center for atmospheric research in Boulder (Colorado, USA) and his colleagues drew attention to the fact that for each flight in the Earth’s atmosphere gets rather big amount of soot and carbon dioxide. About what can cause these emissions in the near future, scientists wrote in an article published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Research scientists based on the data of business plans for the development of suborbital space flights until 2020.

“Rocket engines — the only direct source of anthropogenic pollution of the atmosphere at a height of more than 22.5 kilometers, and it is important to understand how these emissions affect the atmosphere,” explained the objective of the study one of the authors, a specialist in the study of the atmosphere in an American aerospace Corporation Aerospace Corporation Martin Ross.

Using computer modeling, the researchers concluded that the sharp increase in suborbital flights in the next decade may make a significant contribution to climate change on Earth.

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The fact that soot particles, which scientists also called “black carbon”, is not deposited on the surface of the Earth, and remain in the stratosphere, i.e. at an altitude of about 50 km. from There, they can’t be “washed” by rain, and because carbon black is at high altitude within 3-10 years. These particles absorb light, and thus, their presence in the atmosphere reduces the albedo (reflectivity) of the Earth. As our planet reflects less sunlight, the heat manifests itself in the form of climate change, namely warming.

As told by Michael mills Nature News . the results of modeling the response of the climate system of the Earth in a relatively small quantity of carbon “amazing”.

On average the planet’s surface “cool” by 0.7 degrees Celsius, but in Antarctica will become warmer by 0.8 degrees Celsius.

This will result in a reduction of glacier area by 5-15 percent.

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According to the simulation, the atmosphere over the Equatorial regions will lose up to 1 percent of the ozone layer, while over the poles the number could rise to 10 percent. And despite the fact that the ozone layer protects living organisms from ultraviolet radiation hard.

Due to the fact that soot changes the albedo of Earth, its impact on climate change is significantly higher than the effect of carbon dioxide, which enters the gas shell of the Earth as a result of the flight of those missiles.

“There are fundamental limits to the amount of substance that people can throw into the atmosphere without a significant impact,” concluded Martin Ross. The scientist also said that the impact on climate of soot particles that enter the atmosphere as a result of the missile flight, have to be taken into account until the moment when the suborbital space flights will become regular.

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