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Suborbita Flight

Suborbita Flight:

A six person crew on Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spaceship undertook a brief trip to the “edge of space” which is known as Suborbital Flight.

  • Sirisha Bandla, an astronaut born in India, was a part of the crew.
  • She was the third woman of Indian origin to go to space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.
  • Virgin Galactic is a British-American spaceflight company, operating in the United States.

Suborbital Flight:

  • When an object travels at a horizontal speed of about 28,000 km/hr or more, it goes into orbit once it is above the atmosphere.
  • The satellites need to reach that threshold speed (orbital velocity) in order to orbit Earth.
  • Such a satellite would be accelerating towards the Earth due to gravity, but its horizontal movement is fast enough to offset the downward motion so that it moves along a circular path.
  • Any object travelling slower than 28,000 km/hr must eventually return to Earth.
  • Any object that launches to space but does reach sufficient horizontal velocity to stay in space falls back to Earth. Hence they fly in a suborbital trajectory.
  • It means that while these vehicles will cross the ill-defined boundary of space, they will not be going fast enough to stay in space once they get there.