Richard Branson didn't make it to space during his trip a few days ago, claims Neil deGrasse Tyson, as per media reports. Tyson, the famous astrophysicist and science communicator, says that he is doubtful if we could call where Branson flew as space.
In an interview with CNN, Tyson said that Branson only reached a suborbital, which was already touched by NASA 60 years ago when Alan Shepherd got there.
Tyson used a globe to show the relative distances of space orbit, moon and up to where Branson reached. Showing that if at 1 cm height from the globe is space orbit, at 10 m height would be where the moon is. On that scale, Branson would have travelled only 2mm from the globe.
He further said that an 8 min travel to space orbit or three days travel to the moon could be called a space trip, but Branson's trip could not be. He couldn't even have the view of the curvature of Earth, though he must have got a nice view of the planet, he added.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York.
Karman Line at 100 km above sea level is the point widely recognised as the Earth's atmosphere's boundary. But NASA uses 80 km above sea level as the cut-off point. Branson, made history recently and commenced commercial space tourism, whose craft had only gone up to 86 km.