About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

41 J. Space L. 151 (2017)
The Non Karman Line: An Urban Legend of the Space Age

handle is hein.journals/jrlsl41 and id is 165 raw text is: 






ARTICLES


    THE NON KARMAN LINE: AN URBAN
          LEGEND OF THE SPACE AGE


                      Thomas  Gangale*

                      I. INTRODUCTION
    The von KArmin  line, named for the Hungarian-American aer-
odynamicist Theodore von Kirmin, is commonly represented as ly-
ing at an altitude of 100 kilometers (62.1 statute miles) above the
Earth's mean sea level. It is commonly represented by the Fiddra-
tion Adronautique Internationale (FAI), an international standard
setting and record-keeping body for aeronautics and astronautics,
as the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space.
The von KArmin   line has long been proposed as the basis for the
legal delimitation between airspace and outer space; however, the
available evidence suggests that von Kirmin himself never pro-
posed a boundary at 100 kilometers, and that his engineering work
was  misinterpreted by lawyers who were seeking an  altitude of
physical significance as the basis for delimitation. It is doubtful that
a line of lasting significance based on aerodynamic theory alone,
independent of technological assumptions, can be drawn.
     For several reasons, the discussion on the legal delimitation of
outer space is becoming more  topical and important. Since the
1950s, a major role in that discussion has been played by references
to the von KirmAn  line as a feasible boundary of lasting signifi-
cance based on immutable physical principles; however, those ref-
erences are inconsistent as to both the altitude of the line and the


     J.S.D. in space, cyber and telecommunications law, University of Nebraska-Lin-
coln College of Law, 2017; M.A. in international relations, San Francisco State Univer-
sity, 2006; B.S. in aerospace engineering, University of Southern California, 1978.


151

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 3,000 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most